01:00 GMT +322 November 2019
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    South Korean rescue teams take part in recovery operations at the site of the sunken 'Sewol' ferry, marked with buoys, off the coast of the South Korean island of Jindo

    Former South Korean Senior Officials Given Suspended Prison Sentences in Sewol Shipwreck Probe

    © AFP 2019 / JUNG YEON-JE
    Asia & Pacific
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - A South Korean court sentenced on Tuesday four officials of ousted President Park Geun-hye's administration to suspended imprisonment for obstructing the establishment and activities of the panel that investigated the Sewol ferry shipwreck accident.

    The deadliest sea incident in South Korea within recent years occurred in April 2014 when over 300 people died as a result of the shipwreck of the Sewol ferry. In 2015, a panel of maritime experts, lawyers and civilians were set up to investigate the incident.

    "This court ruled on whether the suspects abused their power to obstruct the Sewol panel's foundation and activities, instead of whether they are morally or politically responsible," judge Min Cheol-ki said, as quoted by the Yonhap news agency.

    Former Presidential Chief of Staff Lee Byung-kee, former Presidential Secretary for Political Affairs Cho Yoon-sun, former Minister of Oceans and Fisheries Kim Young-suk and former Vice Oceans Minister Yoon Hak-bae were among those sentenced.

    One more suspect, former Presidential Secretary for Economic Affairs Ahn Jong-beom, has been cleared of charges, the news outlet added. 

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    Tags:
    Park Geun-hye, prison sentence, probe, shipwreck, Sewol, South Korea
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