Along with a new discovery of human remains near the Costa Concordia this morning, new developments have emerged in the trials of a number of Costa Concordia crew and the future plans of the submerged ship.
The first major development is in the trial of the Costa Concordia’s former captain, Francesco Schettino. First Officer of the Costa Concordia, Ciro Ambrosio, testified today that Captain Schettino was taking a phone call as the Costa Concordia approached the island of Giligo on January 13, 2012. Ambrosio stated that he had to use hand gestures to communicate with Schetinno, whom he described as “distracted” as the ship approached the Italian island. Captain Schettino’s trial is ongoing and is battling charges of manslaughter, abandoning ship, and causing a shipwreck for a nearly 20 year sentence.
Various Costa Concordia officers and Costa officials today declared their contest of their sentences handed down earlier this year. The appealers include First Officer Ciro Ambrosio, Officer Silvia Coronica, helmsmen Jacob Rusli, Hotel Director Manrico Giampedroni, and Costa’s former director of crisis management Roberto Ferrarini. All received sentences ranging from one year and six months through two years and ten months, handed down in an plea bargain earlier this year. The appeals are set to be reviewed by the Court of Cassation on January 31, 2014.
Officials today announced that the Costa Concordia may finally be removed from its current resting place by June 2014. After the ship is re-floated, workers will begin repairing the ship’s starboard side so that it can be safely towed away from Giiglio. At this time, a final resting place for the ship has been made public. Once she arrives at her undisclosed shipyard, the Costa Concordia will be scrapped by the end of 2014.