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Students begin testimony at South Korea ferry trial

July 28, 2014 · 


Students begin testimony at

   South Korea ferry trial

Students begin testimony at South Korea ferry trial











The ferry tragedy killed scores of students and left a nation in mourning

Students who survived South Korea’s ferry disaster have begun testifying at the trial of the ship’s crew.

The students are giving evidence via video link from a district court near their homes, rather than at the actual trial in the southern city of Gwangju.

The Sewol ferry sank on 16 April, killing 304 people – mostly teenagers.

The crew are charged with negligence and abandoning ship. The captain and three officers are also charged with “homicide through wilful negligence”.

Investigators say the ferry had been illegally modified to carry more passengers and cargo, and was overloaded.

But prosecutors say the actions of the captain and crew – including instructing passengers to stay in their cabins as the ship listed – led to more deaths.

A total of 476 people were on board the Sewol when it sank off Jeju island. Three hundred and twenty five of these were students from the same high school, of whom only 75 survived.

The disaster caused shock and outrage in South Korea, including harsh criticism of both bureaucrats and business officials whose alleged failings or corruption led to the tragedy.

Officials from ferry operator Chonghaejin Marine are also the subject of separate legal proceedings.

Earlier this month, police identified a body found on 12 June as company owner Yoo Byung-eun, who had been the subject of a man-hunt since the disaster.

His son, Yoo Dae-kyun, was arrested on Friday.


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