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Captain, Crew Face Verdict in Deadly Ferry Disaster

FILE - An off-duty helmsman Oh Yong-seok of the sunken ferry Sewol speaks on a bed at Mokpo Hankook Hospital where he gets treatment for minor injuries in Mokpo, South Korea, April 19, 2014

A court in South Korea is set to rule on whether the captain of a ferry that capsized killing more than 300 people is guilty of culpable homicide.

A three-judge panel in the southern city of Gwangju will hand down verdicts and sentencing on Tuesday in the trial of captain Lee Joon-seok as well as 14 crew members.

Prosecutors have demanded the death penalty for the captain, who is accused of murder for his conduct on the Sewol ferry that sank on April 16.

South Korea has not carried out a death penalty since 1997, and the death penalty has essentially meant life imprisonment.

Several of the survivors testified that when the ship's troubles began, they were instructed over loud speakers to stay where they were, rather than to evacuate. The ship eventually capsized, trapping hundreds of passengers inside.

Nearly 250 of those who died were high school students on a trip.