The boss of the company that operated the South Korean ferry that sank earlier this year killing more than 300 people has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Kim Han-Sik, chief executive of Chonghaejin Marine, was convicted of negligence causing death and embezzlement over his role in the country's worst maritime disaster in decades.
A South Korean court found Kim routinely allowed the ferry to be overloaded, carrying more passengers than permitted, and signed off illegal renovations to increase its passenger capacity.
An investigation concluded the vessel was defective, the ferry was overloaded and renovations had made the structure of the ferry unstable.
Kim repeatedly denied he was responsible, arguing he was a mere employee following orders from company owner Yoo Byung-Eun, who was found dead in June after he went missing shortly the ferry disaster took place in April.
South Korea ferry disaster
South Korea ferry disaster
1/6 South Korea ferry disaster
A woman ties a yellow ribbon dedicated to dead and missing passengers onboard sunken passenger ship Sewol to a pillar at Yellow Ribbon's Garden set up at Seoul City Hall Plaza
2/6 South Korea ferry disaster
A South Korean man walks past a well-wishing ribbon in Seoul
3/6 South Korea ferry disaster
High school student who are members of the Youth section of the Seoul Alpine Federation, climb to display a sign reading 'My dear friend I will remember you forever' while hoping for the safe return of the sunken ferry Sewol's missing passengers as they hang on a rope bridge on the Ansan mountain in Seoul
4/6 South Korea ferry disaster
High school student hold a sign reading 'My dear friend I will remember you forever' while hoping for the safe return of the sunken ferry Sewol's missing passengers as they hang on a rope bridge on the Ansan mountain in Seoul
5/6 South Korea ferry disaster
File image: A diver gets out from the sea after attempting to search for the missing passengers at the site of the sunken South Korean ferry 'Sewol' off Jindo on 26 April, 2014
6/6 South Korea ferry disaster
South Korean coast guard officers try to rescue passengers from the Sewol ferry as it sinks in the water off the southern coast near Jindo, south of Seoul, South Korea
The Sewol ferry capsized as it made a turn on a routine voyage to the holiday island of Jeju, killing 304 passengers, mostly teenagers aged 16 to 17 on a school trip.
The 15 surviving crew members, including captain Lee Joon-seok, were convicted last week on negligence charges and sentenced to between five and 36 years in jail. Prosecutors had called for the death penalty for Lee, but he was acquitted on that charge after a judge ruled his negligence did not amount to an intent to kill.Reuse content