Just days before the first anniversary of the Costa Concordia tragedy the ship's captain, who is currently awaiting trial on charges of multiple manslaughter and abandoning ship, has hit out at the public reaction to his actions.

Back on January 13th 2012, 32 people were killed when the liner carrying them hit rocks off the coast of the island of Giglio on the Tuscan coast.

It was alleged that the collision had been as a result of 52-year-old captain Francesco Schettino's insistence on carrying out a sail by salute.

In the aftermath of the incident, a series of reports also suggested Mr Schettino had fled his post and escaped on a lifeboat, despite the fact that many of the ship's passengers remained stuck onboard.

Regardless of this damning evidence, the cruise ship captain remains bitter about the public reaction to the incident.

Speaking in an extraordinary interview with La Stampa newspaper, he claimed: "I've been treated worse than Bin Laden."

"I reject the image that has been attached to myself, it ridicules not only 30 years of my work but my experience worldwide," he added.

Mr Schettino is due to stand trial later this year.