Korean Air chief to take stand at ‘nut rage’ trial

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SEOUL, Jan. 30 – The chairman of Korean Air Lines Co. was to take the stand Friday for his eldest daughter who is on trial for alleged obstruction of aviation safety for forcing a chief steward off a taxiing plane last month, court officials said.

Cho Yang-ho will testify on whether the senior crew member, who was allegedly assaulted by his daughter and forced off the Seoul-bound Korean Air flight from New York last month, will be able to keep his job, the Seoul Western District Court said.

His testimony will likely bear a significant influence over his daughter’s sentence, experts say.

The second hearing on the so-called “nut rage” incident is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.

The incident was given the nickname, as Cho Hyun-ah, former vice president of South Korea’s largest full-service carrier, allegedly caused a scene after she was served her macadamia nuts in a bag instead of on a plate. She had claimed the service was in violation of the proper nut-serving protocol.

Another witness to appear at Friday’s hearing is the female flight attendant who had served the nuts to Cho.

It would mark the first time the woman, identified only by her surname Kim, made a public appearance.

Court officials said she will be escorted into the court room through a private hallway.

It is unclear whether the chief of the cabin crew will take the witness stand this day.