June 05, 2018 11:52
A court on Monday refused to issue an arrest warrant for the wife of Korean Air chairman Cho Yang-ho on assault charges.
Lee Myung-hee (69) is being investigated on multiple charges of assaulting staff, but Seoul Central District Court Judge Park Beom-seok said, "There is no need for arrest since there is still room for debate about of the charges and the process of reaching [and out-of-court] settlement with the victims is still underway." He added Lee presents no flight risk.
Lee is charged with assaulting a dozen staffers of Hanjin Group, which owns Korean Air, from 2011 until recently. In 2013, Lee allegedly threw a pair of scissors at a guard at her home in the posh Pyeongchang-dong area of northern Seoul.
She has also been charged with assaulting a worker at a construction site in Incheon.
Lee denies the charges but has been busy trying to pay the victims off.
She is separately being investigated for her part in a luxury-goods smuggling racket that also allegedly involved her two daughters, both of whom are also accused of assault in the notorious "nut rage" scandal and the more recent "office rage" incident. They are accused of smuggling various goods for their individual use aboard Korean Air planes without notifying customs.
Lee was questioned by police twice so far and is banned from leaving the country as the investigation continues.
Her son, Korean Air president Cho Won-tae (43), is being investigated by the Education Ministry over suspicions that he illicitly transferred to Inha University after gaining dismal grades at a nondescript two-year college in the U.S.
Earlier, the younger daughter, Cho Hyun-min, resigned from all posts in the family firm after it emerged that she is prone to the same violent fits of rage as her mother and sister.
Cho senior is charged with tax evasion.
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