Sewol operator chief gets 7-year jail term

October 29, 2015
Kim Han-sik, president of Chonghaejin, is escorted by helpers to hold a press conference at Incheon Port International Passenger Terminal in Incheon, South Korea. (Photo: AP/Yonhap)

Kim Han-sik, president of Chonghaejin, is escorted by helpers to hold a press conference at Incheon Port International Passenger Terminal in Incheon, South Korea.
(Photo: AP/Yonhap)

SEOUL (Yonhap) — South Korea’s Supreme Court said Thursday it has upheld a seven-year jail sentence for the head of the sunken ferry Sewol operator for involuntary manslaughter in the deaths of more than 300 people.

Kim Han-sik, chief executive officer of Chonghaejin Marine Co., was convicted of not properly checking the safety conditions of the ferry despite being briefed that the ship’s ability to balance itself was compromised.

The 73-year-old chief was also convicted of embezzling company funds worth some 2.8 billion won (US$2.44 million) and was ordered to pay a fine of 2 million won.

The 6,825-ton ferry Sewol sank in waters off the country’s southwestern coast on April 16 last year, killing a total of 304 people, mostly high school students on a school trip.

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