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South Korea ferry disaster: Don't make crew the sole scapegoats, trial defence warns

Published on Jun 17, 2014 4:44 PM

SEOUL (AFP) - The trial of 15 crew members from South Korea's ferry disaster resumed on Tuesday, with the defence team warning against making the defendants the sole scapegoats for a national tragedy.

The lawyer also argued that it would be unfair to place the entire responsibility for the disaster on the captain and crew. "The defendants must be punished properly... but I hope there will also be stern punishment for the company which turned the Sewol into a time bomb," he said.

The second day of hearings was notable for one defendant, the ferry's first engineer, admitting charges of criminal abandonment resulting from the crew's decision to escape the sinking vessel while hundreds of passengers remained trapped.

The other 14 defendants have denied all charges, including Captain Lee Joon Seok and three senior crew members accused of "homicide through wilful negligence", which carries the death penalty.

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