A South Korean court on Tuesday ordered that a former Korean Air Lines executive be detained for delaying a flight following an outburst over the way she was served nuts, in a case that prompted both outrage and ridicule.
Heather Cho, the daughter of the airline's chairman and head of in-flight service before she resigned after the incident, had demanded the chief steward be removed from the flight at John F. Kennedy airport in New York on Dec. 5 for serving macadamia nuts in a bag, not a dish. The court's decision late on Tuesday comes after local prosecutors last week sought a detention warrant for Cho, 40, who faces charges of violating the aviation safety law.
"The necessity for detention is recognized as the case is grave and there has been an attempt to systematically cover up charges from the beginning," Lee Kwang-woo, a judge at the Seoul Western District Court who handles media affairs, said in a text message. On her way to a detention facility from the prosecutors' office late on Tuesday, Cho was flanked by prosecution officials and did not respond to questions from media, only saying "sorry" several times, her eyes closed and her head bowed.