Two Italian Coast Guard officers accused of delaying a shipwreck in 2013, in which some 260 migrants drowned, will face trial for manslaughter.

The trial of Leopoldo Manna, head of the Italian Coast Guard task force, and Luke Lichcardi, a navy officer, will begin on December 3 in Rome.

It is noted that in October 2013 a ship departed from Libya with almost 480 people on board. In the Mediterranean Sea, in the search and rescue zone of Malta, 118 nautical miles southwest of the Maltese capital Valletta, it began to sink.

Migrants from Syria and Palestine turned to Italian rescuers, but they ordered them to call Malta instead.

Malta, in turn, insisted that Italy deal with the emergency, since the boat was only 60 miles from the Italian island of Lampedusa, and the nearest Italian patrol boat was 45 minutes from the sinking ship.

A Maltese reconnaissance aircraft discovered the boat and tried to warn the Italian patrol boat, but there was no reaction.

Earlier in Italy, the new government launched ashore rescued migrants. 82 refugees were rescued off the coast of Libya in two operations. Now they will be distributed among five European countries.

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