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South Korea: Chief of Sewol firm gets 10 years

Author: Kim Yon-Se, Korea Herald, Published on: 23 November 2014

A district court on Thursday handed down a prison term of 10 years to Kim Han-shik, chief of Chonghaejin Marine Co., the operator of the sunken ferry Sewol, for neglecting the safety of the vessel. Eight other officials of the marine company were given prison sentences ranging from three to six years, and two officials were handed suspended jail terms, the Gwangju District Court said. They included the executive in charge of maritime affairs, surnamed Ahn, who was given six years in prison with a criminal fine of 55 million won ($50,000) and the executive director, surnamed Kim, who was sentenced to five years in prison. The court said in its verdict that that chief Kim, 72, had glossed over the risks of overloading the Sewol with freight early this year. It also said that Kim was informed of the ferry’s weakened ability to recover left-and-right balance when it tilted due to an expansion in the number of cabins several years ago. The verdict also said that Kim had caused financial damages to the company via embezzlement and breach of trust, and handed over the irregular gains to Yoo Byung-eun, who was found dead in June. Yoo was the de facto owner of Chonghaejin Marine and the Sewol. ... 

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