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South Korea Seeks Death Penalty For Ferry Captain

  • VOA News

Portraits of students who died in the mid-April Sewol ferry disaster, decorated by yellow ribbons dedicated to the victims, are pictured in central Seoul, October 27, 2014.

Portraits of students who died in the mid-April Sewol ferry disaster, decorated by yellow ribbons dedicated to the victims, are pictured in central Seoul, October 27, 2014.

South Korean prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty for the captain of the Sewol ferry that sank in April, killing more than 300 people. They are also seeking life sentences for three senior crew members of the ship.

The failure of captain Lee Joon-seok to execute his duty amounted to homicide, the prosecution told the court, resting its case in a trial that has taken place amid intense public anger towards the crew.

The prosecutors say they will ask for lesser sentences - between 15 and 30 years - for the other 11 crew members.

The captain and 14 crew members of the South Korean ferry who were in court in Gwangju Monday were among the first people to leave the sinking ferry.

The court is also expected to set a date at Monday's hearing to deliver its verdict.

The crew has been charged with abandoning the ferry after repeatedly telling passengers, many of them high school students, to stay on the vessel.

Ferry victim family members were present Monday in the courtroom.

Material for this report came from Reuters.

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