The trials of the captain and crew of the ferry Sewol that sank off the nation's west coast in mid-April are due to begin Tuesday afternoon.
The Gwangju District Court said the first trial for Captain Lee Jun-seok and 14 crewmembers will start at 2 p.m. The captain and three other senior crewmembers are charged with murder with willful negligence.
They were among the first people to get off the ferry and made no attempt to help passengers evacuate.
On the first day of the proceedings, the key focus is on whether the captain and the three other crewmembers are liable to be found guilty of the most serious charges.
Most of the crew have partially admitted to acts of negligence.