Costa Concordia Video ‘Shows Captain Leaving’

Video has emerged of the captain of the doomed cruiseliner Costa Concordia preparing to leave the stricken ship, having previously claimed he had tripped into a lifeboat.

The footage was released by prosecutors who have told reporters they are seeking a 20-year prison sentence for Francesco Schettino, who is giving evidence for a second day at his trial.

Schettino was dubbed Captain Coward after he was accused of abandoning the vessel before passengers had escaped.

He had told investigators he had ”tripped and stumbled into a lifeboat” the night of the disaster.

But in the video, prosecutors say he can be seen in a tie waiting to board an emergency escape craft.

Schettino crashed the Costa Concordia into rocks off the Italian island of Giglio in January 2012 during an attempted “sail past”.

The holed vessel grounded and partially capsized in shallow water, forcing 4,200 passengers and crew to flee, with the loss of 32 lives.

Pressed over why he had delayed raising the alarm, Schettino claimed he feared people would jump into the water and wanted to wait until ship was closer to shore.

“On the ship I am number one after God,” he said.

During a combative performance under cross-examination for the first time on Tuesday, Schettino denied he had organised the sail past to impress Domnica Cermontan, a Moldavian dancer who was working on the ship and has told the court she was having an affair with the married captain.

Speaking at his trial in Grosseto in Tuscany on Tuesday, Schettino said he had sought to “kill three birds with one stone” by undertaking the sail past.

He was doing a favour to a ship’s official and paying tribute to a former cruise captain who lived on the island of Giglio, while making the cruise more attractive to passengers, he claimed.

Schettino is charged with manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship.

He is being tried alone after five other defendants reached plea deals.

His trial is expected to continue into next year.

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3 December 2014 | 12:15 pm – Source: orange.co.uk

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