* Sacked captain also faces charges of manslaughter
* Lawyer says every worker has right to challenge dismissal
ROME Oct 10 The captain of the Costa Concordia
which ran into a rock and capsized off the Italian coast in
January, killing up to 32 people, has sued for wrongful
dismissal, his lawyer said on Wednesday.
Italian Francesco Schettino was not only fired by Costa
Cruises but is accused by prosecutors of causing the
accident by sailing the luxury cruiser liner too close to shore.
He faces charges of multiple manslaughter and abandoning
ship and preliminary hearings will begin on Oct. 15.
"It is the right of every worker to appeal against his
dismissal and Captain Schettino has done no more than exercise
that right," lawyer Bruno Leporatti said.
"There is nothing to contest or be amazed about, unless we
want to say that what the law allows for all citizens doesn't
apply for Francesco Schettino."
Schettino was held up to ridicule in Italy and abroad
following the Jan. 13 disaster off the Tuscan island of Giglio
and his name became a symbol of incompetence and cowardice.
The angry order to "Get back on board, damn it!" delivered
by a coast guard officer to Schettino over the telephone after
he had abandoned his ship was printed on T-shirts in Italy.
Investigators said Schettino brought the 290-m (950-ft)-long
vessel too close to shore, delayed evacuation and lost control
of the operation during which he left the sinking ship while
many of the 4,200 passengers and crew were still on board.
The Naples-born captain has always acknowledged making
mistakes once it became clear that the 144,400-tonne Costa
Concordia was in trouble, but has said he was not the only one
who should be blamed for the tragedy.