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Korean Air 'Nut Rage' Heiress Jailed for 1 Year

A bus carrying Cho Hyun-ah, former vice president of Korean Air Lines Co., arrives for her trial at the Seoul Western District Court in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Feb. 2, 2015.

A South Korean court has ruled the daughter of the chairman of Korean Air Lines violated aviation safety law during her angry outburst over the way she was served nuts.

Heather Cho, a former executive and head of in-flight service at the airline, was sentenced to one year in prison for her actions, which have become known as the "nut rage" incident.

Cho forced a December 5 flight to return to the gate in New York to remove a flight attendant who had served her macadamia nuts in a packet instead of on a plate in first class.

She also is reported to have made the flight attendant kneel before her on the plane and repeatedly poked the back of the attendant's hand with the sharp edge of a flight manual.

"This is a case where human dignity was trampled on," said judge Oh Sung-woo said in the ruling Thursday. He added it is "doubtful that the way the nuts were served was so wrong."

Some South Koreans see the 40-year-old as a spoiled corporate "princess" and say the problem reflects a wider problem in Korean society.

Cho, who was also charged with obstructing justice and assaulting a member of the cabin crew, pleaded not guilty to most of the charges. She also publicly apologized for her actions.