Italy’s highest court ruled Friday to uphold the 16-year prison sentence for the captain of the Costa Concordia in an accident five years ago that killed 32 people.
The high court supported the original 2015 sentence for Francesco Schettino and denied the defense’s appeal.
More than 4,000 people were aboard the Concordia when it ran aground and flipped on its side off Tuscany in January 2012. In addition to the passenger deaths, dozens were injured and a salvage worker died later.
Schettino’s attorneys filed multiple appeals of his conviction and sentence.
Relatives of the victims expressed happiness on Friday that the boat’s captain is finally locked up.
“Finally, Schettino begins to pay for his wrongdoing,” an attorney for one of the families said.
The skipper was dubbed “Captain Coward” after the accident when it became known that he abandoned the vessel shortly after it crashed without helping passengers and resisted orders to return to the boat.
Schettino was convicted of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning passengers.
By Doug G. Ware