Concordia captain's trial to resume Monday
Friends say Francesco Schettino is distraught, broken18 September, 16:47
Schettino's defense team in July asked the court to accept a plea bargain for a jail term of three years, five months.
State prosecutors in May rejected the same offer.
Schettino could face 20 years in prison if he is found guilty of charges including dereliction of duty and multiple manslaughter for his role in the shipwreck that took 32 lives, injured hundreds, caused massive economic damages for Costa Cruises and the residents of the island of Giglio, a popular tourist destination where the liner crashed.
Friends who have seen Schettino in recent days report him being distraught and broken.
They say he has been living holed up in his home in a town south of Naples, pouring over his documents for his court case.
The ex-commander has been spotted venturing for occasional walks in his hometown of Meta, and was seen two weeks ago eating pizza with his wife and daughter in a restaurant just a few dozen metres from his home.
The former ship-commander has shunned journalists and all visitors except for his closest friends.
A camera crew on Tuesday failed, despite great effort, even to persuade neighbors to talk in his historic quarter, where almost everyone has a seafaring relative, after the successful operation to lift the wrecked Concordia upright. Dubbed ''Captain Coward'' by the media for allegedly abandoning ship without overseeing the evacuation, Schettino claims his image and actions have been distorted by investigators and called on judges for a new probe in recent months.
He said that by guiding the Concordia close to shore as it was taking on water, he stopped it sinking outright and saved the lives of more than 4,000 people after the Concordia hit a rock formation on January 13, 2012.
The lurching, semi-submerged wreck of the Concordia sat for 20 months off the Tuscan island of Giglio.
It was finally rotated upright in a 19-hour, unprecedented operation this week, to prepare it to be floated and hauled away next year.