February 16, 2015 12:09
Korean Air heiress Cho Hyun-ah deposited W200 million in court prior to her "nut rage" trial, it was revealed Sunday (US$1=W1,100).
A district court in Seoul said Cho deposited W100 million each for the purser and flight attendant who fell victim to her on-board tantrum at the JFK International Airport in New York in December last year.
Cho's attorney said she deposited the money as a "sign of her sincerity as she was unable to apologize to them in person due to her arrest." But the purser and flight attendant refused the money and Cho was sentenced last week to one year behind bars on charges of forcing an aircraft to change course.
She has since appealed.
A court official said, "If the deposited money had been accepted, the court would have viewed this as settlement and would have reduced her sentence. There's still a chance that her sentence could be reduced if the deposit is accepted during appeal, or the court could recognize that she has at least tried to reach a settlement."
Cho initially declined to deposit the money for fear of being seen as trying to buy her freedom, but her lawyers convinced her.
One of Cho's lawyers said she was also initially against appealing because she did not want to be seen as unrepentant. But they convinced her to appeal because her prison sentence for forcing an aircraft to change course is unprecedented in Korea.
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