A single guilty plea

Only chief engineer admits abandoning passengers on stricken Sewol.

Only one of 15 crew charged over the Sewol sinking in South Korea has admitted guilt.

The chief engineer, named as Sohn, pleaded guilty in court to abandoning around 400 passengers trapped on the ferry, which eventually went down with the loss of more than 300 people.

Sohn's lawyer said his client "will not use the excuse of saying that he could not rescue passengers as the ship sharply tilted to one side quickly."

He also declined to plead innocence because the ferry's captain did not issue orders to rescue the passengers, the Chosun Ilbo reported.

He blamed ferry operator Chonghaejin Marine, which pushed ahead with the remodeling of the ship in order to carry more cargo.