The captain of the sunken Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia, who is accused of abandoning the vessel before its passengers were evacuated, has triggered outrage after it emerged he delivered a lecture to university students on best emergency practices, BBC News reported.
Italy’s education minister said the decision by a university professor in Rome to invite Francesco Schettino to speak at a seminar was “disconcerting”.
Thirty-two people died when the Concordia sank in January 2012, and Schettino is currently on trial for manslaughter and abandoning the ship.
The captain denies he left the vessel after it hit a reef near the island, before 4,229 people on board were taken off.
Schettino gave a two-hour lecture to criminal science postgraduate students of La Sapienza university last month, the BBC said, quoting a report from La Nazione.
“I was called to speak because I am an expert. I had to talk about panic management,” Schettino told the newspaper.
He said he had used a 3D model of the Costa Concordia to demonstrate how emergency evacuations were carried out.
The university’s dean assailed the decision to invite the former ship captain to speak, saying he was unaware it was taking place. He called it an “inappropriate and unworthy choice” of speaker.
The professor who arranged the lecture is now facing a disciplinary hearing, the report said, citing a statement from the university.
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