Court explains Concordia captain Schettino's 16-yr sentence

Gives details of errors that resulted in 32 deaths

Court explains Concordia captain Schettino's 16-yr sentence

Grosseto, July 13 - A Grosseto court on Monday released its report detailing the reasons for sentencing former captain Francesco Schettino to 16 years in prison for his role in the January 2012 Costa Concordia disaster off the Tuscan island of Giglio, in which 32 people died. The court said Schettino knew people were still aboard the Costa Concordia when he boarded a life boat and abandoned the ship, adding that he did this "to save himself with the precise intention of not getting back on the ship". In the report, judges said the situation when Schettino abandoned the Concordia was such as "to make it impossible or difficult" for the passengers still aboard to "find safety". "The 32 deaths of the people on board the Concordia wouldn't have happened if (Schettino) had managed the emergency with expertise and diligence," the report said, and if he had adhered to "dutiful" regulations for a situation of that kind. During the emergency, Schettino received a call from Italian Coast Guard Commander Gregorio De Falco, who in the aftermath of the disaster was hailed as a "hero" for ordering Schettino to return to the sinking Concordia. In the report, the Grosseto court said that during the conversation, Schettino was "improvising, recounting a movie that was playing only in his imagination," and the judges compared Schettino to an improvisational actor. "Those lies are offensive towards the hundreds of people who were trapped," said the report, adding that they were even more so towards "those who didn't make it".

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