Thu, Dec 25, 2014 - Page 5 News List

Prosecutors seek detention of Korean Air executive

Reuters, SEOUL

South Korean prosecutors yesterday requested a detention warrant for former Korean Air Lines executive Heather Cho, who delayed a flight because she was unhappy about how she was served nuts in first class.

The prosecutors have been investigating Heather Cho, who is the daughter of Korean Air Lines chairman Cho Yang-ho, on charges of violating aviation law and another airline official for abetting perjury.

Detention warrants are issued when the court believes there is a risk of flight or evidence tampering by suspects while investigations are ongoing.

A probe by the South Korean Ministry of Transport concluded that Heather Cho abused flight attendants in the incident on Dec. 5 at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, and airlines officials might have tried to cover up the incident.

Public outrage grew when Korean Air initially issued what many in the nation took to be a half-hearted apology that instead appeared to rationalize Heather Cho’s conduct in the face of what it said was inadequate performance by the cabin crew.

Heather Cho resigned from all her posts at the airline and subsidiaries, and apologized after she came under intense public outrage and ridicule. Cho Yang-ho subsequently apologized and said his daughter’s conduct was “foolish.”

The plane pushed away from the airport departure gate as the incident was taking place on board. The pilot then took the plane back to the gate to expel the cabin crew chief after Heather Cho complained about being served macadamia nuts by a flight attendant in a bag and not on a dish.

The crew chief said in a local television interview that Heather Cho swore at him and jabbed his hand with a document folder, pointing her finger at him while he kneeled to apologize to her.

Prosecutors are also investigating whether Heather Cho physically assaulted any crew members.

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