Sewol operator chief to spend 10 years in jail

South Korea’s Gwangju District Court sentenced the head of the company that operated the sunken Sewol ferry, Kim Han-Sik, to 10 years in prison yesterday for involuntary manslaughter that resulted in the deaths of over 300 people.

Kim Han-Sik, CEO of Chonghaejin Marine Co, was also found guilty of violating the law on safe maritime navigation, embezzling company funds and taking bribe from subcontractors.

Aside to Han-Sik, four other company officials were sentenced to three to six years in prison on similar charges, with two more employees getting suspended prison sentences.

The Sewol captain Joon-Seok has been sentenced to 36 years of prison for gross negligence.

The captain and three of his crew members were put on homicide trial five months ago as they were the first to abandon the ferry when it listed and started to sink in April, failing to rescue hundreds of passengers on board.

The ship’s chief engineer received a 30-year prison sentence while thirteen other crew members were sentenced to up to 20 years in jail.

The captain and two other crew members of the ill-fated ferry filed appeals to their respective verdicts.

The sinking claimed the lives of 295 passengers, mainly high school students, with remains of nine more victims not being found yet.

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