Prosecutors Seek 15 Years Prison for CEO of Ferry Sewol Operator
D-Bo , Nov. 7, 2014, 9:16 a.m.
Prosecutors on Thursday sought a 15-year prison term for the head of the ferry operator behind the April 16 disaster which killed over 300 people. Kim Han-sik, the CEO of Chonghaejin Marine, was indicted on charges of manslaughter and violating maritime safety regulations. The 71-year-old has already been slapped with a W2 million fine (US$1=W1,086).
"Heavy punishment is inevitable since Kim, as a chief executive, remodeled the ship and overloaded it with cargo in an effort to overcome the company's deficits," a prosecutor said. Charges against the CEO also include embezzling tens of billions of won in company funds and receiving massive kickbacks from subcontractors.
Prosecutors also demanded prison sentences ranging from four to six years for 10 other Chonghaejin executives. The maximum penalty for professional negligence resulting in death is five years in jail. The prosecutor said the charged executives refused to admit their wrongdoings and tried to pass blame to each other. Kim blamed Chongjaehin owner Yoo Byung-eon, who is dead.