The daughter of the Korean Air chairman on trial after a "nut rage" incident during a flight treated the flight crew like "feudal slaves," a chief steward said in court on Monday (2 February).
Korean Air chairman Cho Yang-ho's daughter Heather Cho is facing a trial for breaking aviation laws.
She is also accused of conspiring with company executives to forcefully convince crew members to lie about the 5 December incident, dubbed as the "nut rage" episode.
Cho had demanded chief steward, Park Chang-jin, to be taken off from a flight at New York's John F. Kennedy airport after she was served her macadamia nuts in a bag instead of on a dish.
Due to Cho's nut rage, the plane that was already taxiing had to return to the gate.
Fighting back tears, chief steward Park said in court: "[Cho] was like a beast that found its prey gritting its teeth as she became abusive, not listening to what I had to say at all.
"I don't think Cho showed an ounce of conscience, treating powerless people like myself like feudal slaves, forcing us to sacrifice and treating it as if it was the natural thing to do."
Park further said that Cho forced him to kneel down and poked his palm several times with a folder, according to a Reuters report.
While prosecutors are seeking a three-year prison term for Cho if she is convicted, Cho's lawyers are fighting against the punishment and denying she was violent.
While Cho has reportedly told the Seoul court that she is apologetic about her behaviour, she has reaffirmed the cabin crew did not follow proper procedures.
Following the public outrage over the incident, Cho was forced to resign from her position as the vice-president of Korean Air.
Cho's father has also apologised to Park in court on Friday (30 January).