SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – South Korean prosecutors on Wednesday charged the former Korean Air Lines executive who achieved worldwide notoriety by kicking a crew member off a flight with violating aviation security law and hindering a government investigation.
Cho Hyun-ah, who is the daughter of the airline’s chairman, ordered a senior crewmember off a December 5 flight after being offered macadamia nuts in a bag, instead of on a dish.
The plane returned to the gate at John F Kennedy airport to disembark the flight attendant.
Cho’s actions amounted to “threatening the safety of the flight and causing confusion in law and order,” prosecutor Kim Chang-hee said during a briefing that was broadcast live by local television networks.
She could face up to 15 years in prison if found guilty of all four charges she faces, according to Attorney Park Jin Nyoung, spokesman for the Korean Bar Association.
Prosecutors accused her of forcing a flight to change its normal route, which Park said was the most serious charge with a maximum prison sentence of 10 years. The three other charges she faces are the use of violence against flight crew, hindering a government probe and forcing the flight’s purser off the plane.