South Korean linked to ferry disaster to be extradited on June 6: Source

Workers check on the surface of the damaged Sewol ferry between two barges during a salvage operation.
Workers check on the surface of the damaged Sewol ferry between two barges during a salvage operation.PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (AFP) - The daughter of a South Korean tycoon blamed for the deadly 2014 Sewol ferry disaster will be extradited on Tuesday (June 6) from France, a source close to the case said.

Yoo Som-Na was detained in Paris in May 2014 and is wanted in South Korea on suspicion of embezzling millions of dollars from subsidiaries of her family's company, Chonghaejin Marine.

South Korean authorities believe the alleged embezzlement contributed to safety defects that led to the April 2014 disaster that claimed the lives of 304 people, most of them high school children.

Yoo, 51, was detained for 13 months in France but released in the middle of 2015. But in June last year, then prime minister Manuel Valls signed a decree for her extradition. Yoo appealed the decision but it was upheld by the Conseil d'Etat, the top court for administrative justice.

The source told AFP that she "will be taken to the prison at Versailles (west of Paris) on Tuesday and then directly extradited to her country".

Yoo strongly denies the accusations. The extradition comes after she lost her appeal against her extradition.

Her father Yoo Byung-Eun had been the target of a massive manhunt in South Korea after he refused to respond to an official summons following the ferry disaster.

The tycoon, who in addition to his substantial business interests also ran a religious group, was found dead in a plum orchard two months after the disaster.

A post-mortem on his badly decomposed body failed to determine the cause of death.

The overloaded 6,825-tonne Sewol was carrying 476 people when it capsized off the southern coast of South Korea.