he captain of a South Korean ferry that capsized – killing more than 300 people – has been jailed for 36 years.
Lee Joon-seok, 69, was found guilty of severe dereliction of duty but cleared of murder following a five-month trial.
The three-judge bench ruled that prosecutors, who had demanded the death penalty for the captain, failed to prove the most serious charge of “homicide through wilful negligence”.
Three other senior crew members, who had also faced homicide charges, were sentenced to jail terms of up to 30 years.
“We find it hard to conclude that the defendants … were aware that all of the victims would die because of their actions and they had an intention to kill them,” the bench said.
“Therefore the murder charges are not accepted.”
The verdicts and sentences handed to 11 other crew members also on trial were not immediately clear.
The overloaded Sewol capsized on 16 April while making a turn during a routine voyage to the holiday island of Jeju… see more