Former Korean Air Exec Asking Appeal Court To Overturn “Nut Rage” Conviction

The former Korean Air executive who was convicted of violating aviation safety law in connection to what became known as the “nut rage” incident is asking an appeals court to overturn the conviction, which stemmed from her rage over improperly served macadamia nuts.

Lawyers for Cho Hyun-Ah, who also happens to be the daughter of Korean Air’s chairman, asked an appeal court to overturn the ruling, arguing in the Seoul High Court today that the plane never got to the point where it could be said that it was in flight, reports AFP.

A district court had sentenced her to a year in prison after finding her guilty of violating aviation safety after her anger over the nuts had forced a taxiing Korean Air Lines to return to its departure gate at New York’s JFK airport in December of last year.

That court had ruled that “in flight” should apply to an aircraft from the second it starts to move. That means that even though the flight had barely left, her actions illegally altered the plane’s flight.

“It’s hard to say that her act actually hindered security and the plane’s safety,” her lawyer said. “She really had no intention to impede the plane’s safe flight.”

At the time, she was vice president in charge of in-flight service, and reportedly flew into a rage after a flight attendant served her nuts in a bag, instead of on a plate.

She was also convicted of assault on the cabin crew, after the chief steward testified that Cho made him kneel and beg for forgiveness, while whacking him with a service manual. The flight attendant involved has since filed a civil lawsuit, claiming Cho attacked her and screamed profanities, and then pressured her to lie about the incident to government regulators.

Korean Air heiress appeals ‘nut rage’ case [AFP]