October 16, 2018 12:51
Prosecutors on Monday dropped assault charges against Korean Air heiress Cho Hyun-min in connection with a violent tantrum she threw in a meeting earlier this year.
The charges were dropped because the alleged victim, who works for a subcontracted advertising agency, did not wish to press for a criminal conviction.
The incident, which took place during a meeting at Korean Air headquarters earlier this year, caused public outrage and prompted a widespread investigation of the conduct of other members of the Cho family, which owns Korean Air parent Hanjin Group.
Cho was accused of shouting and throwing a bottle of water at the victim when he was unable to answer a question. Police failed to get an arrest warrant for Cho following the incident, which was widely reported on the Internet.
But prosecutors said the victim and another individual present at the meeting did not want to seek punishment, and Cho apparently threw the bottle on the ground rather than in the victim's face.
Cho was also charged with obstruction of business, but prosecutors said they have found no evidence that she intended to obstruct the ad agency's work.
The incident came to symbolize the culture of impunity surrounding the rich and the pathological anger management problems of the Cho family. Cho’s sister Cho Hyun-ah was convicted of assault in the 2014 "nut rage" scandal, and their mother is also accused of habitually assaulting staff.
The incident snowballed into a wide-ranging probe into tax evasion, luxury-goods smuggling and other offenses committed by the Chos.
The patriarch, Hanjin chairman Cho Yang-ho, was indicted without arrest on Monday on charges of embezzlement and breach of trust for allegedly helping himself to company funds. The investigation continues.
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