South Korean ferry relatives scream for crew, who abandoned ship, to receive death penalty

Families of the South Korean ferry victims have called for the crew members to be given the death sentence, after they abandoned ship before evacuating passengers.

PA-20065317

by Ellie Hooper |
Published on

Crew members charged with murder and negligence appeared in court for the first day of their trial on Tuesday, and were faced with the wrath of 90 family members of the victims.

The Sewol ferry capsized in April, killing almost 300 people after passengers were mistakenly told to stay put, as crew members and the captain scrambled to safety.

The ferry as it sunk in April

After a two month wait, the families were keen to let the accused know exactly how they felt.

One relative in court held up a sign that read: 'You are not human. You are beneath animals,' whilst another shouted 'murderer' as Captain Lee Joon-seok entered the room.

The Captain and three crew members are charged with murder, whilst the remaining 12 crew members face charges related to abandoning ship and safety violations. If convicted, the Captain and the three others could receive the death penalty - even though it has been two decades since capital punishment was carried out in the country.

The ferry company owner is still at large, with prosecutors saying they want to question him in relation to embezzlement, tax evasion and other irregularities that could have contributed to the sinking of the ship.

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