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article imageCosta Concordia helmsman found, may be forced to testify in Italy

By Marcus Hondro     Apr 11, 2014 in Sports
The trial of Francesco Schettino, the captain of the Costa Concordia, the cruise ship that hit a reef Jan. 13, 2012, killing 32, is ongoing and an important witness may soon take the stand. That witness is Rusil Bin, the helmsman on that fateful night.
Mr. Bin was found in the countryside of his native Indonesia, outside of Jakarta. Captain Francesco Schettino has blamed Bin, who was steering the ship when it hit the reef, for the tragedy; Schettino claims that Bin did not correctly follow an order. Bin was given a plea bargain deal, a suspended sentence, for his role. It is unclear if Bin can be compelled to return to Italy to take the stand.
Schettino has been charged with manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning his ship. His trial is taking place in Grosetto, Italy, and if found guilty, the 53-year-old could get up to 20 years in prison.
The 114,000 tonnes Costa Concordia remains some 300 metres off of the island of Giglio in the Tuscan Sea. It has been pulled upright by a process called parbuckling, with the American company Titan Salvage and the Italian company, Micoperi, leading the project. The plan is to tow it to a port for dismantling sometime in June.
An important witness who is scheduled to take the stand next week is Roberto Ferranini, who worked at the crisis center for Costa Cruises and took the emergency call from the luxury liner that night. In a plea bargain, Ferranini was given two years and 10 months for multiple manslaughter and negligence.
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