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Investigations on those charged responsible for ferry accident get tough

Updated: 2014-04-23 03:57:41 KST
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As the death toll of the tragic Sewol-ho ferry accident is on the rise, frustration grows, as the families of the victims and the missing demand to know why the captain and some of the crew fled the ship and failed to follow their responsibilities to look after their passengers.
The one man with some of the biggest questions to answer is the captain.
Investigators are looking into charging him with murder by omission.
For more on this, we go over to our Kwon Soa, at the News Center.
Soa?

Good morning, Mark. "Murderous" was how President Park Geun-hye described the actions of the captain, Lee Joon-seok, and the crew members.
And now, investigators are examining whether the captain could be charged with homicide by omission which can be pressed in the case of death caused by inaction by the defendant.
The joint investigation of prosecutors and police as well as the Justice Ministry said on Tuesday they will inspect the legal principles.
Captain Lee is currently charged with five offenses.
They include negligence and violating ship crew law which requires the crew to remain on the vessel, until all passengers escape.

Soa, among the multiple factors that may have caused the accident, the operator of the Sewol-ho ferry is also being probed very carefully and is under suspicion of a number of illegal activities and actions.

Yes, the National Tax Service launched a special probe Tuesday, into four firms that are closely related to the ferry's operator, Chonghaejin Marine Company.

The special investigation team also imposed travel bans on 30 additional personnel related to the operator.
The prosecution is also looking into whether the operator's management and the family which owns the company, evaded taxes or embezzled funds by making illegal overseas transactions.
The latest travel bans come after the president of the company Kim Han-sik and Yoo Byung-eon, former chairman of the company's parent firm, as well as his two sons, were banned from traveling this past Sunday.
The two sons are the biggest shareholders of the operator's holding company with former chairman Yoo said to be the practical owner of the firm.
The Yoo family reportedly has more than 230 million dollars worth of assets -- that's excluding debt and assets kept outside of Korea.
Reports say former chairman Yoo established 13 overseas corporate branches and used them to snowball the family's assets.
Cheonghaejin Marine Company has been in the investigators' sights ever since the accident happened, last Wednesday.
I'll be back at 9am, Korea time, with more updates.


Reporter : amho88@naver.com

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