A judge in Tuscany has fined Italian cruise line Costa Crociere SpA $1.3 million in administrative sanctions for the 2012 wreckage of the Concordia cruise ship that killed 32 people. Costa had asked for a plea deal to respond to the administrative sanctions, which under Italian law are for companies whose employees commit crimes. Costa, a division of Carnival Corp., has sought to blame the disaster entirely on Capt. Francesco Schettino, who took the cruise ship off course and rammed it into a reef off the Tuscan island of Giglio on Jan. 13, 2012.
Prosecutors are seeking indictments for Schettino and five others. A preliminary, closed-door hearing is scheduled for Monday. Schettino is accused of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck, and abandoning the vessel before all passengers evacuated. Schettino has depicted himself as a hero, claiming it was his deft steering after the collision that allowed the ship to move closer to the port and helped to save lives. He also maintained the reef was not marked on the ship's navigational charts. Sailors in the area, however, say the reef is a well-known tourist attraction.