Five Costa Concordia staff convicted of manslaughter

Five Costa Concordia staff convicted of manslaughter

Five people have been found guilty of manslaughter of over the shipwreck of the Costa Concordia that left 32 people dead.

A court in the Tuscan town of Gresseto accepted plea bargains for the Costa Cruises employees on Saturday.

It handed down the highest sentence to the crisis co-ordinator for the Italian cruise company Costa Crociere, Roberto Ferranini, who could serve two years and 10 months.

The ship's hotel director was sentenced to two years and six months while two bridge officers and a helmsman got sentences ranging from one year and eight months to one year and 11 months.

However, none are likely to go to jail as the sentences of less than two years are suspended, and the longer sentences may be appealed or replaced with community service, according to reports.

The plea bargains were handled separately from the trial of the captain, Francesco Schettino, who is charged with manslaughter for causing the shipwreck in January 2012 off the island Giglio and for abandoning the vessel with thousands on board. If found guilty, he faces up to 20 years in prison.

His trial has been postponed until September 23, after the summer break.

Daniele Bocciolini, a lawyer for the victims, said of Saturday's sentencing: "What will the families of the victims think? This is truly disappointing.

"Schettino remains the only one on trial, but not the only one at fault, in my opinion," he told SkyTG24.



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