Captain of South Korean Ferry That Sank Sentenced to 36 Years in Prison
(SEOUL, South Korea) — The captain of a South Korean ferry that sank last April, killing 304 people, was sentenced Tuesday to 36 years in prison.
Lee Jun-seok had been found guilty of being professionally negligent and abandoning passengers although he was acquitted of murder, which carried the death penalty. Still, the sentence he received amounts to life in prison for Lee, who is 68 years old.
Meanwhile, the chief engineer of the ferry Sewol received a sentence of 30 years in prison while 13 crew members received sentences of between five and 20 years for negligence.
During the trial, which began last June, prosecutors submitted 1,900 pieces of evidence to make their case against Lee, his engineer and 13 crew members.
The Sewol was carrying 475 people, most of them high school students on a field trip, when it suddenly tilted to one side and sank on April 16.
Lee and his crew were accused of telling passengers to stay put while they safely got off the vessel. About 170 people managed to be rescued before the Sewol sank.
Meanwhile, the government announced earlier it had given up the search for nine passengers whose bodies were never recovered.
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