According to The National, SCORPIONS‘ drummer James Kottak will spend a month in jail after he was convicted on Tuesday morning of insulting Islam, flashing his middle finger at Muslim passengers at an airport and consuming alcohol.
American James Kottak, 51, who is the drummer for the German band, said he had drunk five glasses of wine on a flight from Moscow to Dubai.
He was to transit to Bahrain on a Gulf Air flight to perform at the country’s Formula One grand prix on April 5 when the incident happened at about 11pm on April 3.
The rocker was with a friend when he said he took a wrong turn and entered the transit hall. “We wanted to wait for the rest of our friends but, mistakenly, ended up at the transit hall,” Kottak told police.
There he was arrested for being drunk and after that he was seen getting angry and swearing.
At the sight of Pakistani and Muslim passengers, witnesses said Kottak started swearing and talking about “non-educated Muslims” before he flashed his middle finger at passengers.
Police said he also lowered his trousers and showed people his behind.
Officer AA said he heard the drummer saying “what is this disgusting smell” before he insulted Islam. “I didn’t see anything else but I heard him. I then informed my supervisor, who came and took the defendant away,” said AA.
SO, a 27-year-old client service employee at the airport, said: “When he [Kottak] saw the Pakistani and Afghani passengers, he covered his nose and said that there was no way he will travel with them.”
He added that the drummer then started swearing repeatedly at the arrivals area of Terminal 2. “He wasn’t talking to a person specifically but was talking in general,” said SO.
“He was very nervous at the time and talking loudly.”
AB, 25, a Jordanian passenger services agent, said Kottak came over to her and was talking loudly. She said: “He was shouting ‘non-educated Muslims’ then he went to the office of the head and flashed his middle finger at the passengers,” said AB.
Police said in records that when he lowered his trousers he was asking people to touch his behind.
“I don’t remember saying these words and I did not flash my middle finger,” Kottak said to prosecutors.
When asked about taking down his trousers, he said “this is not true — I just lifted my shirt up to show the tattoo on my back” as a “spontaneous act”.
“There is no way that I would say such a phrase about Muslims, whether I was drunk or not,” he told police.
“I confess to drinking alcohol but I refuse the other two charges, I did not do them.”
At Dubai Court of Misdemeanours on Tuesday, his lawyer said that his client was innocent and that the witnesses must be misunderstood. “Their testimonies are contradictory, your honour,” said Hamid Al Khazraji.
However, the drummer from Scorpions, whose hits include Rock You Like A Hurricane and No One Like You, was sentenced to one month in jail and he was also fined Dh2,000 for drinking alcohol without a licence.
He has been in custody since April 3 and will be released soon as the time spent in detention will be deducted from his sentence.