Korean Air heiress treated crew like ‘feudal slaves’

February 3, 2015 6:58 am

Dec 2014 file photo of . Photo / AP

A Korean Air chief purser forced off a plane by airline heiress Cho
Hyun-Ah in a notorious “nut rage” incident has testified that Cho
treated flight crew like “feudal slaves”.
Prosecutors have
demanded a three-year jail term for Cho, saying she showed no sign of
“earnest remorse” and has tried to lay the blame for the incident on
flight crew.

Cho Hyun-ah, who was head of cabin service at Korean Air, speaks to the media upon her arrival for questioning at the Aviation and Railway Accident Investigation Board. Photo / AP
Cho Hyun-ah, who was head of cabin service
at Korean Air, speaks to the media upon her arrival for questioning at
the and Railway Accident Investigation Board. Photo / AP

In December she forced the chief purser to leave a New
York-Seoul flight before it took off, compelling the taxiing plane to
return to the gate so he could disembark.
The 40-year-old, who
was a KAL vice president at the time, took exception to being served
macadamia nuts for which she had not asked – and in a bag, not a bowl.
The incident sparked public outrage in .

Cho has been charged with air safety violations as well as
coercing staff to give false testimony and interfering in the execution
of their duty.
In court on Monday, chief purser Park Chang-Jin
accused Cho of treating flight attendants like “feudal slaves” and urged
her to reflect sincerely on her “irrational and senseless” conduct.
“I
think Cho did not show an ounce of conscience, treating powerless
people like myself as feudal slaves and forcing us to sacrifice
unilaterally,” he said in a tearful voice.
“Like a beast that found its prey gritting its teeth, she yelled and became violent, never listening to what I said,” he said.
Park has said Cho made him kneel and beg for forgiveness while jabbing him with a service manual.
On
Monday Cho apologised for her “rash” conduct but insisted the affair
originated from the breach of the service manual by flight attendants.
She denied using violence against Park and said the pilot made a final decision to force him off the plane.
Her
lawyers have argued that there had been no breach of safety laws, given
that the plane had not even reached the runway when it turned back.
Cho, the eldest daughter of Korean Air chief Cho Yang-Ho, has been in custody since December 30.

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