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  • » 07/22/2014, 00.00

    SOUTH KOREA

    Korea: lifeless body of the Sewol ferry owner found



    The authorities have confirmed this morning that the body of a man, found on June 12, but ignored by the police, belongs to Yoo Byung-eun. The man, the owner of the ship that sank in April, was being sought throughout the country. Indignation of the population at investigators failure to identify the corpse because it was considered "a homeless man".

    Seoul (AsiaNews) - The South Korean authorities have confirmed this morning that the body of a man found on June 12 in the province of South Jeolla is that of Yoo Byung-eun, the owner of the Sewol ferry that sank April 16 off the south-western coast of the country. In the tragedy that shook the entire country, more than 300 people were killed, most of them were high school students headed for the island of Cheju a school trip.

    According to investigators, both fingerprints and DNA samples taken from the body confirm the man's identity. He was wanted for a long time as the "silent" owner of the Chonghaejin Marine Co., the company that operated the ferry. Police had launched a nationwide manhunt for the tycoon involving thousands of policemen and members of the intelligence services.

    Nothing is known of the causes of death: the body is in an advanced state of decomposition also because of the heavy rains that hit the province last month, and the autopsy is likely to be completely useless. Several Yoo family members are in jail, while one of his daughters - currently residing in France - is trying to avoid extradition. His eldest son, however, is still missing.  

    Woo Hyung-ho, Suncheon police chief, made ​​it clear that the genetic samples were compared with those of Yoo Byung-il, an elder brother currently in prison for embezzlement of funds linked to the shipping company. The deceased was very rich and had also founded a para-Christian congregation The Salvation Sect, which had tried to protect him from arrest.

    Woo has admitted police negligence in failing to "properly" investigate the corpse found in early June because it was believed to be that of a homeless man. Several Internet users have commented on the proceedings of indignation: "Why - asks a commentator on the conservative daily Chosun Ilbo - is the discovery of a lifeless body not even taken into consideration? What have we become?".

     

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    See also

    23/08/2014 SOUTH KOREA
    Sewol activist hospitalized after 40 days of hunger strike
    In the April 16 disaster, Kim Young-oh lost his 17 year old daughter. Since then together with other families of victims he has campaigned for a new law to punish those responsible for the massacre. The man met Pope Francis before the beatification of the 124 Korean martyrs, and gave him the yellow badge that is their symbol of protest. The pontiff wore it throughout the journey.

    25/02/2015 SOUTH KOREA
    Baptized by the Pope in Korea: 500 kilometers of rosaries and prostration to demand justice for Sewol
    Francis Lee Ho-jin lost his son in the sinking of the ferry in April 2014. Almost a year after the massacre, the government has yet to clarify those responsible for the disaster. Together with his daughter, he is marching on foot from the south of the country to the capital: every three steps, he prostrates himself to ask the population to remember the more than 300 victims. The continuous recitation of the Marian prayer for the repose of the souls.

    11/11/2014 SOUTH KOREA
    Korea, Sewol captain sentenced to 36 years in prison
    The courts have found him guilty of "gross negligence" but rejected the charge of murder. All other crew members on trial also condemned. The chief engineer of the ferry that sank last April, gets 30 years in jail. 304 people died in the tragedy, one of the worst accidents in the history of South Korea.

    15/05/2014 KOREA
    Hurting over S Korean ferry sinking, Christians and Buddhists hold vigils and prayer to comfort each other
    Catholics, Protestants and Buddhists have set up a camp near the port on Jindo Island not far from where the Sewol ferry sunk with 476 people on board. As families continue to wait for news about those still missing, they find comfort in prayer and listening. The government charges the captain and three officers, whilst the head of the ferry company is holed up at home, surrounded by members of his 'Salvation Sect'.

    29/07/2014 SOUTH KOREA
    Korea, Sewol survivors: Crew and Coast Guard abandoned us
    Hearing opens in Ansan to gather the testimonies of those who have managed to escape after the disaster, which killed more than 300 people. Heavy accusations against those in charge, who fled instead of helping passengers. The Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace: "Now we need a special law to shed light on the incident."



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