House Arrest Extended for Italian Cruise Ship Captain

February 7, 2012 Updated: October 1, 2015
Epoch Times Photo
Rescuers work near the cruise liner Costa Concordia liying aground in front of the Isola del Giglio (Giglio island) on January 27, 2012 (Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images)

An Italian court on Tuesday ruled that the captain of the Costa Concordia cruise ship that crashed last month and killed 17 people must remain under house arrest, according to media reports.

Francesco Schettino was arrested soon after the accident took place on Jan. 13 and has been accused of manslaughter and abandoning the ship before the passengers and crew were evacuated. 

Schettino said that he had sailed too close to the island of Giglio before the massive ship ran aground and toppled over. However, he denied allegations that he was sailing too fast, said cruise managers told him to sail close to the island, and added that the rocks the ship hit were not on navigation charts.

By deciding that he remain under house arrest, the court dismissed an appeal by the prosecution to send Schettino to prison, reported the Adnkronos news agency. Prosecutors had argued that he was a flight risk before he was imprisoned last month.

His lawyers have said that he should be released on bail.

Authorities have said that other than 17 deaths, at least 16 people remain missing out of the 4,200 people on board the stricken ship.