Date
15 December 2017
Lee Joon-seok (second from left) sits in the court in Gwangju, South Korea, before the verdict was handed down. Photo: Reuters
Lee Joon-seok (second from left) sits in the court in Gwangju, South Korea, before the verdict was handed down. Photo: Reuters

Captain of capsized Korean ferry jailed for 36 years

The captain of a South Korean ferry that capsized in April, killing more than 300 passengers, was sentenced Tuesday to 36 years in jail for negligence.

The court acquitted Lee Joon-seok, 68, of homicide, for which prosecutors had sought the death penalty, Reuters reported.

But the ship’s chief engineer was found guilty of homicide for not aiding two injured fellow crew members. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

The overloaded ferry Sewol, bound for the holiday island of Jeju, capsized while making a turn.

Video footage of the crew abandoning the vessel after instructing the passengers, mostly teenagers, to remain in their cabins caused outrage across South Korea and calls for harsh punishment.

The court found the other 13 surviving crew members guilty of various charges, including negligence, and handed them prison terms ranging from five to 20 years.

Only 172 of the ferry’s 476 passengers and crew were rescued. Of the 304 confirmed dead or still listed as missing, 250 were schoolchildren.

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CG/FL

More than 300 people died when the overloaded passenger ship Sewol sank in April. Photo: Reuters


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