South Korean Court Orders Release of Ex-Korean Air Lines Executive Heather Cho in ‘Nut Rage’ Case
Cho was jailed for a year in February, but the court on Friday ruled that she should serve a suspended sentence, reports the BBC.
Cho was convicted for violating plane safety after ordering a taxiing plane back to the gate to offload a steward who had served the macadamia nuts the wrong way.
But the appeal court ruled she did not cause a change in the flight path and gave her a reduced sentence of ten months and suspended the prison term for two years.
She, however, remains guilty of using violence against flight attendants.
Cho, who looked pale and visibly thinner when she left the court, after changing out of her green prison overalls, did not answer questions from reporters and quickly left in a car.
Cho, also known as Cho Hyun-ah, was a vice-president of Korean Air. She is also the daughter of the company’s chairman.
On December 5, 2014, Cho became angry while onboard a Korean Air flight in New York after she was served macadamia nuts which she did not ask for, and which were still in a bag, and not in a bowl.
She confronted both the flight attendant who served her and chief steward Park Chang-jin about the presentation, at one point jabbing Mr Park with a service manual.
Cho then ordered the plane, which was taxiing at JFK Airport, to return to the terminal to offload Mr. Park.
Cho had been in custody since she was arrested on December 30. In February, she was convicted and sentenced to one year in jail.
One of the judges on the appeal panel said on Friday that they had taken into consideration that she was a first time offender.