• Thu
  • Sep 18, 2014
  • Updated: 5:37pm
South Korea ferry disaster
NewsAsia
SOUTH KOREA

South Korean driver of Sewol owner gives himself up to prosecutors

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 29 July, 2014, 10:05pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 29 July, 2014, 10:05pm

The driver of the late owner of the ferry that sunk in South Korea turned himself in yesterday, potentially unlocking the mystery of the man's final days.

Prosecutors in the port city of Incheon said the driver, Yang Hoe-jung, turned himself in at their office, which is leading the investigation into the role of businessman Yoo Byung-un in the sinking of the ferry Sewol.

The structurally defective and heavily overloaded ferry capsized and sank on a routine journey on April 16, killing 304 people, 250 of them teenagers from the same school on a class field trip.

The trial of 15 surviving crew members, including the captain, resumed on Monday with evidence from some of the 75 students who survived South Korea's worst maritime disaster.

The crew members face charges ranging from homicide to negligence for abandoning the ship after telling passengers to remain on board.

Yang is thought by authorities to have been with Yoo, the head of a family that ran a network of companies that included the ferry operator, in the days before his body was found by a farmer in an orchard on June 12.

Police only identified the badly decomposed body as that of Yoo last week, although an autopsy and other extensive testing failed to indicate how he died or came to be in the orchard, forensic experts have said.

The driver was the last among a group of people close to Yoo who had been wanted for allegedly helping him elude South Korea's biggest manhunt.

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