The trial of Costa Concordia captain Francesco Schettino is due to start in Italy today.

He faces charges of multiple manslaughter, causing environmental damage and abandoning the ship.

But his defence team claim the blame should be more evenly shared with other crew members as well as the cruise company.

Costa Concordia crashed into a rock off Giglio on the night of January 13, 2012 with the loss of 32 lives out of the 4,229 people on board.

Up to 450 witnesses and 250 plaintiffs could be called during the trial, although the actual start of deliberations may be postponed because of an eight-day lawyers’ strike in Italy, the Daily Telegraph reports.

Schettino’s lawyers have called 100 witnesses and pledged to show that “no single person was responsible” for the disaster.

They plan to probe the role played by managers at ship owner Costa, the type of steel used to build the ship, as well as the apparent malfunctioning of sealed doors and back-up generators.

Four other crew members, including the ship’s Indonesian helmsman, and a Costa manager have entered plea bargains with short prison sentences, which will be ruled on in a separate hearing on July 20.

Costa earlier admitted limited responsibility as Schettino’s employer and was ordered to pay €1 million in a ruling that has excluded it from criminal proceedings.