December 22, 2017 13:16
Korean Air heiress Cho Hyun-ah walked free on Thursday after the Supreme Court upheld her 10-month suspended prison sentence over the "nut rage" scandal.
Cho, the daughter of Hanjin Group chairman Cho Yang-ho, was charged with violating aviation laws by diverting a flight.
The heiress made global headlines when she flew into a rage in December 2014 after being served nuts in a bag instead of a bowl in the first-class cabin. She forced a purser to kneel and whacked him with a rolled-up document, then ordered the captain to return to the gate at JFK Airport in New York so the purser could disembark.
The point of argument on appeal was only whether the runway can be defined as part of the flight route before takeoff.
The lower court found her guilty of diverting a flight route, which carries a prison sentence of up to 10 years. Cho was sentenced a year in prison, but the Court of Appeal cleared her of the charge, reasoning that the definition of a flight route is an airway. It found her guilty of the lesser charges of assault and violating business ethics.
The Supreme Court put the case to a full bench of 13 judges and upheld the appeals court ruling with three against.
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