Court releases 4 family members of late ferry owner for funeral

By 김영원
  • Published : Aug 29, 2014 - 20:57
  • Updated : Aug 29, 2014 - 20:57

A district court on Friday temporarily released four family members of the late owner of the doomed ferry Sewol to attend his funeral this weekend, officials said.

The move by the Incheon District Court allows the family members to attend the funeral of Yoo Byung-eun to be held in a compound owned by Yoo's Christian sect in Anseong, about 80 kilometers south of Seoul, on Saturday and Sunday, they said.

About 20 prosecution investigators and police officers oversaw the release.

The four family members -- Yoo's eldest son, Yoo's wife, Yoo's younger brother and brother-in-law -- are restricted to their homes and attending the funeral and required to return to jail in Incheon, a port city west of Seoul, by 8 p.m. on Sunday.

Yoo's elder brother was also released from jail on Thursday for the funeral.

The planned funeral comes two months after Yoo was found dead in a plum field just outside Suncheon, about 450 kilometers south of Seoul, amid a nationwide manhunt.

The body was positively identified as that of Yoo by DNA tests in July, but the cause of death is still unknown.

Yoo, a co-founder of the Evangelical Baptist Church, also known as the Salvation Sect, is widely believed to have contributed to the ferry disaster by failing to abide by safety measures for his ferry.

The 6,825-ton ferry sank off the country's southwest coast on April 16, leaving 294 people dead, mostly high school students on a school excursion. As of Friday, 10 people remained unaccounted for. (Yonhap)