South Korea Supreme court upholds lifetime sentence for ferry captain
Nov 12, Seoul: Supreme Court in South Korea upheld a lifetime sentence for the captain of the ferry that sank last year, killing more than 300 people. Most of them were teenagers on a school trip.
The Court upheld a lower court ruling that sentenced Lee Joon-seok, 70, to life imprisonment for charges that included homicide. The court ruled Lee committed homicide by "willful negligence," concluding he fled his ship without giving an evacuation order although, as captain, he is required by law to take measures to save his passengers, AP reported.
A total of 304 people died when the ferry Sewol sank off South Korea's southwest coast in April 2014 in one of the country's deadliest maritime disasters. Most of the victims were from a single high school.
Lee and his crew members been the targets of fierce public anger because they were among the first people rescued from the ship when it began badly listing on the day it sank.
Lee has said he issued an evacuation order, but many student survivors have said that they were repeatedly ordered over a loudspeaker to stay on the sinking ferry and that they didn't remember any evacuation orders by crew members before they escaped.
The Oslo Times