An Italian court has ruled that Francesco Schettino, the captain of the shipwrecked cruise liner Costa Concordia which capsized off the island of Giglio last month, must remain under house arrest while investigators explore possible charges against him.
According to CNN, the Florence court rejected both a prosecution motion that Schettino be sent back to jail and a defense motion that he be freed.
The captain faces possible charges of manslaughter, shipwreck and abandoning ship over the January 13 incident.
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At least 17 people died when the Costa Concordia, carrying more than 4,000 passengers and crew, struck rocks and keeled over onto its side as it carried out a traditional salute to islanders on Giglio, off the coast of Tuscany.
Fifteen people are still unaccounted for. Schettino was arrested the day after the disaster. He was released from prison and placed under house arrest on January 17, according to Reuters.
Prosecutors had argued that Schettino is a flight risk and should be jailed rather than held under house arrest at his home in Meta di Sorrento, near Naples, Fox News reported.
Schettino’s defense team said he should be freed on bail as he posed no immediate threat of re-offending, due to having been suspended from his job as ship captain.
Lawyer Alessandro Antichi said that the attorneys will probably wait until the full text of the court’s decision is published on February 9 before deciding whether to appeal.
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