SEOUL, Dec 29 – South Korea’s Transport Ministry vowed to punish eight of its officials Monday after admitting their investigation into a “nut rage” incident involving Korean Air heiress Cho Hyun Ah was unfair.
Ms Cho, 40, is facing arrest after being accused of forcing the chief purser off a Dec 5 New York-Seoul flight and of compelling the taxiing plane to return to the gate so he could disembark. She had taken exception to being served macadamia nuts she had not asked for – and in a bag, not a bowl, an incident that has caused a national uproar.
Speaking at an official briefing on Monday, Mr Shin Un Chul, a ministry auditor, said the investigation into the incident had been impaired due to the fact that a Korean Air staff member had been present, which may have intimidated witnesses. A ministry investigator was also arrested last week for leaking details of the investigation to Korean Air officials. “We have found our fairness was impaired by an imprudent investigation,” Mr Shin told reporters.