Date
23 September 2017
Lee Joon-seok told the passengers, mostly teenage students, to stay in their cabins while he was among the first to be rescued from the sinking Sewol. Photo: Yonhap
Lee Joon-seok told the passengers, mostly teenage students, to stay in their cabins while he was among the first to be rescued from the sinking Sewol. Photo: Yonhap

Captain of sunken South Korean ferry gets life for murder

The captain of the South Korean ferry in last year’s fatal sinking was sentenced to life in prison for murder by an appeals court Tuesday.

Overturning a ruling by a lower court that acquitted Lee Joon-seok of murder, the Gwangju High Court convicted him of murdering 304 passengers aboard the Sewol, Yonhap news agency reported.

The ferry was en route to the southern resort island of Jeju from Incheon, west of Seoul, when it sank off the coast on April 16 last year.

Most of the victims were high school students on a field trip.

In November, a lower court convicted him of gross negligence and dereliction of duty, handing him a 36-year jail term.

While Lee ordered the passengers to remain where they were and not leave the ship, he was among the first to be rescued, the court said.

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