The former captain of the Costa Concordia cruise liner has been found guilty of manslaughter over the 2012 shipwreck that killed 32 people off the Tuscan holiday island of Giglio.
Francesco Schettino was left alone in the dock after the ship’s owners paid a one million euro fine and prosecutors accepted plea bargains from five other officials.
Delivering the verdict, the presiding judge sentenced him to 16 years in jail for multiple manslaughter, causing the crash and abandoning his passengers.
Prosecutors had asked for a jail term of 26 years for Schettino, who has admitted some responsibility but denied blame for the deaths that occured during the evacuation.
Investigators severely criticised his handling of the disaster, accusing him of bringing the 290 metre-long vessel too close to shore.
The subsequent shipwreck set off a chaotic night as more than 4,000 passengers and crew tried to get off the ship.
Schettino, however, will not actually go to jail before the end of Italy’s long appeals process. That could take years as the court ruled he should not go to prison or be put under house arrest until the whole appeals process is complete.