Mother of Korean Air chief gets suspended sentence for assault

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Seoul Central District Court convicts Lee Myung-hee but gives her a two-year jail sentence suspended for 3 years, and 80 hours of community service.

A South Korean court on Tuesday, July 14, found the mother of Korean Air's chief executive guilty of repeatedly assaulting her employees, but gave her a suspended the matriarch of the Cho family, which controls the Hanjin transport and logistics conglomerate where her son Cho Won-tae succeeded her husband as chairman following his death last year.

Lee, 70, faced multiple allegations of assault against her staff – from drivers and housekeepers to construction workers – including cursing, kicking, slapping, and throwing a pair of scissors. "In contrast to Lee's position as the wife of the chairman of a conglomerate, the victims, as drivers or housekeepers, had no choice but to endure Lee's unfair actions," the court said, according to Yonhap news agency.


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