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Con Air: KAL Executive gets 1 year in Jail over “Nutrage” incident

Heather Cho updates her frequent flier status

Heather Cho updates her frequent flier status

Heather Cho – ex senior VP of KAL – has been jailed for 1 year. This is THE Heather of ‘Nutrage’ fame whom Cleopatra wrote about and Nero dedicated a song list.

Talk about Asian efficiency : The original incident happened in December 14 and by Feb 15, Heather has been found guilty and sentenced : 2 months from crime to time. No messing about in South Korea.

I don’t know if this is a political sacrifice or South Korean justice spins fast but I just think 1 year prison for being a complete bitch, is a harsh sentence.

The judge and those in South Korea do not think so. From Korea Times the judge thinks she showed no remorse.

Sentencing her to one year in prison, Seoul Western District Court Judge Oh Sung-woo said he did not recognize the “sincerity” of the letters, saying he doubted whether she has a sense of guilt about her behavior.”I wonder whether she really thinks she was wrong,” Oh said in the verdict.The one-year prison term was lighter than the prosecution’s demand for three years.The court ruled that she forced a flight from JFK International Airport in New York to change its course, dismissing her lawyers’ claim that it was not a course change. It was the first time in Korea that the charge has been recognized.The court also ruled her guilty of committing acts of violence that disturbed flight safety, coercion and interfering with business.

 

Further more

“It is reasonable to regard not only air route but also ground movement as a flight’s course,” the court said, dismissing the claim that a flight’s course only meant an air route existing 200 meters above the ground. “We recognize the flight’s planned course was changed.”Regarding Cho’s claim that she was not aware that the plane started moving, the court said she was, because the in-flight announcement and seat belt signs showed the plane would be moving. “When Park told her that the plane already started, she told him to stop it. So she was aware of it,” the court said.It said her behavior delayed the plane’s departure for 24 minutes, interfered with other planes’ operations at the airport, and created the possibility of a collision with other flights. “Although she had the right to exclude a crewmember from duty as a company executive, such a right should have been exercised according to due procedure before a flight. Kicking the attendant off the plane was beyond her authority.”The court said the pilot’s decision to return to the gate was on Cho’s orders rather than his own judgment.”This incident may not have happened if she did not regard employees as slaves and could control her temper,” it said. “It is a serious case that put passengers’ safety at risk.”

Two additional people were also sentenced. Yeo Woon-jin, a KAL executive who pressured employees to lie about the investigation. He got eight months. The other was Kim Woon-sub who used to work for Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. I say “used to” as their crime was to give information to Ministry’s investigation.

The sentence will be appealed.

Whatever happens, this is a fantastic story from riches to rags. All this over a bag of nuts.

I wonder how much of this sentence was because of the National embarrassment and the pent up anger about the Chaebols and their spoilt kids.

I never thought I’d say it but I feel somewhat sorry for her.

Augustus.