Police request travel ban for Korean Air heiress

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Police request travel ban for Korean Air heiress

Korean Air heiress Cho Hyun-min is being investigated by police on suspicion of physical abuse after she allegedly threw water at an advertising executive last month. Authorities have requested that the government impose a travel ban until investigations are complete.

According to the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, in charge of the so-called water rage case, some participants in a meeting between Cho and an advertising firm last month have told the authorities that she threw water at employees. The new evidence counters Korean Air’s claims that Cho threw a cup of water at the ground and only splashed the employee.

As there was no CCTV in the meeting room, the police investigation is solely based on testimonials. The police said there may be multiple victims hit by water from Cho. While one has reportedly declined to pursue charges against Cho, the police are still talking to at least one victim.

If Cho is found to have directly thrown a cup at the victims, she could be charged with using a dangerous object to commit violence, regardless of whether the victims choose to pursue charges or not.

If she did throw the cup on the floor the outcome will depend on whether the victims choose to pursue charges.

A spokesperson from the police agency said it plans to summon Cho as part of an investigation into the incident, though no detailed timeline has been set. The police have requested the Justice Ministry prevent Cho from traveling abroad.

Cho is an American citizen, making it difficult for the authorities to ban her from leaving Korea. As of press time the police were waiting for the Justice Ministry’s approval to temporarily stop her from traveling.

Korean Air’s nightmare continued on Tuesday as Park Chang-jin, the chief flight attendant that was the victim of Cho’s older sister Cho Hyun-ah’s infamous “nut rage,” held a press conference in Seoul and urged the government to eradicate power abuse from chaebol owner families in Korea.

“While I suffered great mental stress, Cho Hyun-ah made a comeback to a managerial position,” Park said. “A slap on the wrist will not do.”

BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]
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