Concordia captain 'risking reputation' in trial
Schettino returns to wreckage for first time27 February, 16:33
Dubbed 'captain coward' by the media for allegedly abandoning ship without overseeing the evacuation, Schettino is currently on trial in Grosseto in Tuscany on charges of multiple manslaughter and dereliction of duty.
"Let's wait before saying that Schettino is guilty or responsible. The others have already admitted their responsibility," said the former captain in reference to five former co-defendants in the trial who secured plea bargains last year. Schettino was besieged by reporters on returning to the port and police had to clear a 'corridor' to allow him to pass.
Of the morning's inspection he said he had gone to "provide a technical contribution" for his consultants".
"I gave precise indications needed for the final outcome of the inspections, which will determine the various responsibilities," he said. Thursday's inspection was the second of two new examinations of the stricken cruise liner made by experts representing the prosecution, defence and plaintiffs in the associated civil action following the successful outcome of a parbuckling operation last September. Magistrates ordered the inspections after ruling that collection of new evidence was warranted because significant areas of the ship had been made accessible by the operation that turned the lurching, semi-submerged wreck upright.