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Korean official arrested over airline nut rage incident

SEOUL, South Korea - South Korean prosecutors on Friday arrested a government official who allegedly leaked information about an investigation into former Korean Air Lines executive Cho Hyun-ah, who forced a flight to return over a bag of macadamia nuts.

The transport ministry official was sent to a Seoul detention facility after a local court issued a warrant for his arrest, according to the Seoul Western Prosecutors' Office and court officials. The official was suspected of providing the information to a Korean Air Lines executive, who allegedly tried to cover up the incident.

Cho, the daughter of Korean Air's chairman, resigned as vice president at the airline earlier this month amid mounting public criticism that she forced a Dec. 5 plane bound for South Korea from New York to return to a gate and kicked off a flight attendant because the nuts were served in a bag, not on a plate.

Earlier this week, prosecutors asked a court to issue warrants to arrest both Cho and the executive who allegedly tried to cover up the incident, surnamed Yeo. Cho faces charges including inflight violence and changing a flight route, while Yeo faces charges of pressuring airline employees to cover up the incident, according to the Seoul Western Prosecutors' Office.

Prosecutors began an investigation over the incident after a civic group filed a complaint against Cho. The transport ministry also reported Cho to prosecutors and said it would sanction Korean Air Lines for pressuring employees to lie during a government probe.

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