A legal loophole created by a careless oversight may allow some people involved in the Sewol disaster to go unpunished.
Investigators searching for the cause of the accident have determined that the Sewol is likely to have violated a number of safety clauses, the overseeing of which is the responsibility of vessel operations managers.
However, the operations manager, who was questioned Tuesday, may escape punishment due to a mistake made in revising the Marine Transportation Act in 2012.
Article 57 of the act states that failing in performing the list of duties stipulated in Article 22, clause 3 will result in punishment. Under the original clause 3 of Article 22, operations managers are responsible for a number of safety precautions.
However, the concerned clause was changed to clause 4 during the 2012 revision.
In the revised act, the clause cited in Article 57 stipulates that the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries determines the requirements of an operations manager.