Scorpions drummer James Kottak is looking at spending at least a month in a jail in United Arab Emirates after he was convicted of insulting Islam.
He had apparently consumed five glasses of wine on a flight from Moscow to Dubai on his way to Bahrain to perform two days later at the country’s Formula One grand prix.
Witnesses at the airport claim that Kottak became enraged after taking a wrong turn and entering the transit hall and started swearing and making statements about “non-educated Muslims” before Flashing his middle finger.
One passenger officer also claimed that he heard the 51-year-old drummer say “what is that disgusting smell?” after looking at a line of Pakistani and Afghani passengers. Before then making the insulting remark about Islam.
A 25-year-old Jordanian passenger services agent said Kottak came over to her and “was shouting ‘non-educated Muslims’ then he went to the office of the head and flashed his middle finger at the passengers.”
Kottak denied that he insulted Islam, telling prosecutors: “I don’t remember saying these words and I did not flash my middle finger.”
He also denied taking down his trousers, saying: “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 said. “I confess to drinking alcohol but I refuse the other two charges, I did not do them.”
He was also fined $545
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