20:57 GMT +316 October 2019
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    Sewol ferry captain Lee Joon-Seok

    S Korean Court Upholds Life Sentence for Sewol Ferry Captain

    © AFP 2019 / WONSUK CHOI
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    The South Korean top court upheld on Thursday a sentence of life imprisonment for Lee Joon-seok, the captain of a Sewol ferry that sank last year killing over 300 people, the Yonhap news agency reported.

    TOKYO (Sputnik) — The Supreme Court upheld the April appeals court decision, which canceled an earlier sentence for Lee of 36 years in prison for gross negligence, sentencing the captain instead to life imprisonment.

    The South Korean Sewol ferry with 476 passengers, mostly pupils on a school-sponsored trip, capsized on its way from the northwestern city of Incheon to the southern island of Jeju on April 16, 2014.

    The captain and several members of the crew left the ship, while passengers were instructed not to move.

    Prosecutors initially sought the death penalty for the captain, and life in jail for the three crew members who abandoned ship.

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    South Korea, Sewol, Lee Joon-seok
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