Concordia captain seeks to overturn jail sentence

Concordia captain seeks to overturn jail sentence

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The captain of doomed cruise ship Costa Concordia is seeking to have his jail term overturned.

Francesco Schettino was given 16 years in jail last year, after a court found him guilty of manslaughter, causing a maritime accident and abandoning ship.

32 people were killed in the disaster in 2012 when Costa Concordia capsized after it hit rocks close to the Italian island of Giglio.

Schettino is seeking to overturn the conviction at the appeals trial in Florence, while the prosecution is seeking a longer prison term.

His lawyers claim a collective failure of the ship's crew for the incident and say others should share the blame for the disaster.

Schettino, who has not yet begun his sentence, also denies that he abandoned ship before passengers and crew had been evacuated.

Meanwhile, the prosecution is seeking a 26-year prison term. If Schettino loses his appeal, he can try again at Italy's highest court - the Court of Cassation.

He was sentenced to 10 years for multiple manslaughter, five years for causing the shipwreck and one year for abandoning his passengers in February 2015.

Investigators had criticised his handling of the disaster, accusing him of bringing the vessel too close to shore when it struck rocks. More than 4,000 passengers and crew were forced into a chaotic evacuation.

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