SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – South Korean prosecutors on Monday recommended three years prison for the former Korean Air executive charged with endangering flight safety after an inflight tantrum over how she was served macadamia nuts.
Cho, the daughter of Korean Air’s chairman, has pleaded not guilty to four charges. In the final day of testimony, she defended her actions as the result of devotion to work.
Cho ordered the chief flight attendant off a Dec. 5 flight after a heated confrontation with cabin crew, forcing the plane to return to the gate at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York. She was angry at being offered nuts in a bag, instead of on a dish, which she said violated the airline’s service rules in first class.
Her behaviour, dubbed nut rage, caused an uproar in South Korea. The incident touched a nerve in a country where the economy is dominated by family-run conglomerates known as chaebol that often act above the law.
Prosecutors are seeking a two-year prison sentence for Yeo Woon-jin, the Korean Air executive accused of pressuring cabin crew to cover up the incident and to lie to investigators from South Korea’s transport ministry.
They also called for two years prison for Kim Woon-sub, a transport ministry official and former Korean Air executive accused of leaking secrets about the ministry’s investigation.