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Appeals Court Frees Former Korean Air Executive in 'Nut Rage' Case

Former Korean Air executive Cho Hyun-ah, center, is surrounded by reporters as she leaves the Seoul High Court in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, May 22, 2015.

A South Korean appeals court has suspended the prison term of a former Korean Air executive who delayed a flight in a rage about the way she was served macadamia nuts last year.

Cho Hyun-ah was sentenced to a year in prison in February after she 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.

The upper court on Friday reduced the sentence to 10 months, then suspended it for two years, ruling that Cho's actions did not alter the aircraft's route while in flight. Cho walked free Friday after spending five months in jail.

Cho, who was also charged with obstructing justice and assaulting a member of the cabin crew, was immediately released from custody.

The eldest daughter of the airline's chairman, Cho was a Korean Air vice-president in charge of in-flight service at the time of the outburst, which has come to be called the "nut rage" incident.