Italian court rules shipwreck captain must remain under house arrest

Published February 07, 2012

| NewsCore

FLORENCE, Italy -- The captain of the wrecked Costa Concordia cruise liner must remain under house arrest, an Italian court ruled Tuesday.

State news agency ANSA reported that the court in Florence rejected requests to remand Francesco Schettino into custody or release him on bail ahead of any upcoming trial over last month's disaster, which claimed 32 lives.

Prosecutors had argued that Schettino -- who is accused of manslaughter and abandoning his ship ahead of his passengers -- is a flight risk and that he should be incarcerated rather than continue to be held under house arrest at his home in Meta di Sorrento, near Naples.

Schettino's lawyers argued he should be freed on bail and that he posed no immediate threat of re-offending, as he was suspended from his job as ship captain.

The Costa Concordia -- with more than 4,000 passengers and crew on board -- hit rocks and keeled over as it carried out a traditional salute to islanders on Giglio, off the coast of Tuscany, on Jan. 13.

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