Sewol Ferry Operator Given 7 years on Manslaughter Charges

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Sewol memorial Korea

South Korea’s highest court has upheld the ruling of a lower court that found Kim Han-sik, president of Chonghaejin Marine Co., guilty on charges of manslaughter related to the Sewol tragedy. The court sentenced Kim to seven years for failing to prevent the overloading of cargo and improper storage on the ship.

According to a statement from the court, four other officials with the company were given sentences between two-and-a-half to four years in prison on similar charges.

304 people lost their lives when the ferry Sewol sank in April 2014. Most of the victims were teenagers from a single Korean high school.

Divers had recovered 295 bodies from the wreckage before the government stopped underwater searches last year. Nine people remain unfound.

Captain still appealing

The Supreme Court gave no comment on Sewol captain Lee Joon-seok, who appealed after a regional high court convicted him of  “homicide by wilful negligence”, which carries a life sentence. This stemming from Lee having fled the ship before issuing an evacuation order.

China’s state-run Shanghai Salvage Co. being paid $74 million to salvage the Sewol –with hoped that it will be raised by early summer of next year and possibly offer more insight to grieving families looking for closure.

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