news Monday, March 09, 2015 - 05:30

The News Minute | February 16, 2015 | 07.20 pm IST

Former vice president of Korean Airlines, Cho Hyun-ah, who was sentenced to a year in prison in the famous “nuts case”, deposited more than $183,000 in court to win the favour of the air hostess and the cabin crew chief involved in the incident, South Korean daily Chosun reported Monday.

Cho deposited $90,600 for each of them in the Seoul District Court, before being tried and sentenced to a year in jail Thursday.

Cho's lawyer justified the money as "a sign of her sincerity, since she could not apologise in person" to the two crew members of the flight which was taxing in a New York airport for its flight to South Korea Dec 5 when Cho demanded that the plane return to the gate and that the crew chief be grounded.

The then vice president in charge of in-flight services was angry because she felt the air hostess had not served her macadamia nuts in the correct manner.

Both the air hostess and the cabin crew chief rejected the money offered to them.

If they had accepted the money, the court would have viewed this as an agreement between the parties, thereby reducing the sentence, a court official told Chosun.

Cho, 40, and daughter of the airline's president, Cho Yang-ho, presented an appeal last Friday against the one-year sentence in prison for violating aviation safety standards by illegally suspending takeoff and assaulting a flight attendant.

The court ruling has set a precedent in South Korea where there is controversy regarding the power wielded by family conglomerates, or 'chaebol' (large business empires like Korean Air, Samsung and Hyundai) that have extensive economic and political influence in the country. 


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