Cho Hyun-ah, the daughter of Korean Air’s chairman, has pleaded not guilty to four charges. In the final day of testimony, she defended her actions as the result of devotion to work and said cabin crew in first class had erred by not following proper procedures.
Ms Cho ordered the chief flight attendant off a December 5 flight after a heated confrontation with cabin crew, forcing the plane to return to the gate at John F Kennedy Airport in New York.
She was angry at being offered nuts in a bag, instead of on a dish. Park Chang-jin, the chief attendant, told the court he and others were treated like “feudal slaves” by Ms Cho.
Her behaviour, dubbed nut rage, caused an uproar in South Korea. The incident touched a nerve in a country where the economy is dominated by family-run conglomerates known as chaebol that often act above the law.
Prosecutors are seeking a two-year prison sentence for Yeo Woon-jin, the Korean Air executive accused of pressuring cabin crew to cover up the incident and to lie to investigator.