By RFE RL
(RFE/RL) — The captain of the Italian cruise liner that sunk after hitting rocks has been released from jail, but has been placed under house arrest.
Captain Francesco Schettino remains under investigation by authorities for manslaughter and abandoning his ship before all passengers were rescued.
At least 11 people have been confirmed dead and more than 20 are believed still missing from the shipwreck last Friday, January 13, of the the massive Costa Concordia luxury cruise liner off Giglio Island in the Tuscany region.
A lawyer for Schettino has said the captain denies abandoning the ship, which was carrying more than 4,200 passengers and crew, after its hull was ripped open after running into rocks.
The lawyer says the captain maintains that he actually saved the lives of passengers by navigating the boat closer to shore after it was holed by rocks.
Italian news media have released recordings in which Italian coast guards repeatedly order the captain to leave a lifeboat and return to his ship after the calamity.