The drummer for the rock band Scorpions was arrested at the Dubai airport earlier this month and sentenced to one month in jail after being accused of offensive behavior including insulting Islam, local media are reporting.
According to a report on the government-owned news site the National, James Kottak, 51, a U.S. citizen, was convicted after allegedly insulting Islam, raising his middle finger “at Muslims” at the airport, being under the influence of alcohol and dropping his pants.
He and his band mates were in transit to Bahrain on April 3 when the alleged incident occurred.
Gulf News reported that while Kottak told the Dubai Misdemeanors Court that he drank five glasses of wine on a flight from Moscow, he denied the other charges. The National reported that Kottak said he and a friend had taken a wrong turn at the airport.
The National quoted unnamed witnesses saying that Kottak started to swear and spoke about “non-educated Muslims” and then showed his middle finger to other passengers. Police said he exposed his behind, the paper said.
“We had just arrived from Moscow and my friend and I were waiting for a bus when we mistakenly reached the transit section. When I asked to leave, the police arrested me because I had consumed liquor,” Kottak was quoted by Gulf News as telling the court.
“I did not curse Muslims or Islam … I would never do such a thing even if I was drunk. I do not remember using any foul language and I did not flip my finger. I just lifted up my shirt and showed my tattoo,” Kottak said.
Kottak’s lawyer asked the court for an acquittal due to contradictory statements by witnesses for the prosecution.
TheBlaze is unable to authenticate any of the claims against Kottak and has been unable to reach the U.S. consulate in Dubai or a Scorpions’ representative.
Kottak will likely be released in the next few days, as he has been in custody since April 3.
Among the band’s hits are Wind of Change, Send Me an Angel, and Rock You Like a Hurricane.