ROME (AP) — A Rome university professor is facing a disciplinary hearing after inviting the captain of the shipwrecked Costa Concordia cruise liner to lecture students on emergency procedures, officials said Wednesday.
The dean of Rome's Sapienza University, Luigi Frati, on Wednesday expressed anger at the professor's decision to invite Capt. Francesco Schettino to give a seminar, calling it an "inappropriate and unworthy choice." Frati said he was turning the matter over to an ethics committee.
Schettino is being tried for manslaughter, causing the shipwreck and abandoning ship over the January 2012 capsize of the Concordia, in which 32 people died.
The university in a statement said that the fact Schettino was ordered back onto the ship during the evacuation of passengers in a now-infamous call leaked to the media "would be enough to brand the initiative as void of any academic purpose." It also dismissed "pathetic excuses" offered by the professor, Vincenzo Mastronardi, when confronted by the dean.
Italy's education minister called the news "disconcerting," while the prosecutor in Tuscany who is arguing for Schettino's guilt expressed indignation also at reports that Schettino had been awarded a diploma.
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