Sewol ferry operator sentenced to ten years in prison


South Korean Sewol ferry operator head Kim Han-sik has been sentenced to ten years in prison after a court convicted him of criminal negligence.

The ferry operated by Chonghaejin Marine capsized in April killing more than 300 people.

Investigators found that the company had allowed the ferry to be overloaded with cargo which led to the accident, BBC News reported.

"Four other Chonghaejin officials received prison sentences of between three and six years on similar charges." 

Last week, a South Korean court sentenced the ferry captain to 36 years in prison along with 13 crew members, who were allotted prison sentences ranging from five to 20 years.

Besides the company head, four other Chonghaejin officials received prison sentences of between three and six years on similar charges, The Guardian said. An official from the Korea Shipping Association also received a three-year sentence for letting the ferry leave a port near Seoul without checking its cargo and storage.

The BBC cited the local media reporting that Kim Han-sik had argued that he was only a paid employee of the company and the decision was taken by the owner Yoo Byung-un.

Yoo, the head of the family that owned ferry operator company Chonghaejin Marine, was found dead in June.