World News

May 14, 2013 11:40 AM by Associated Press

Captain in Italy shipwreck denied a plea bargain

GROSSETO, Italy (AP) - Lawyers for the captain of the Costa Concordia cruise liner that ran aground off Italy's Tuscan coast in 2012, killing 32 people, say prosecutors have rejected their bid for a plea bargain.

Capt. Francesco Schettino is accused of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship before all passengers and crew were evacuated.

Lawyer Francesco Pepe said Schettino had wanted to defend himself at trial, but when the other defendants all sought plea bargains, his defense team sought one, too.

Pepe said prosecutors at the closed-door hearing Tuesday agreed to plea bargains for all except Schettino. That means Schettino might be the only defendant if a trial is ordered.

A judge must rule on prosecutors' request that Schettino be indicted. Schettino says the Concordia struck a reef not on nautical charts.

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