May 22, 2013 7:56 AM by ASSOCIATED PRESS
ROME (AP) - A judge in Italy has ordered the captain of the Costa Concordia to stand trial in the shipwreck of the cruise liner, which struck a reef off Tuscany last year, killing 32 people.
Francesco Schettino will be the only defendant in the trial, which begins on July 9 in the Tuscan town of Grosseto. The indictment was announced on Wednesday.
Five other defendants successfully sought plea bargains in their cases, which are now being handled separately.
Schettino is charged with manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning the ship while many of the 4,200 passengers and crew were still aboard. He denies the charges.
The Concordia ran aground off the tiny island of Giglio. Schettino's lawyer says he faces as much as 20 years in prison if convicted.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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