Scorpions Drummer Arrested and Convicted in Dubai for Insulting Islam
Scorpions drummer James Kottak will spend a month in a Dubai, United Arab Emirates, jail after he was convicted on Tuesday morning of insulting Islam.
He has been in custody since April 3. According to a report from The National, Kottak allegedly drank five glasses of wine on an April 3 flight from Moscow to Dubai while traveling to Bahrain. Witnesses said Kottak, upon entering a transit hall, 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.
Kottak admitted to drinking but denied 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."
The band released a statement saying, "Dear fans, when James Kottak arrived in Dubai on April 3rd, he ran into problems at immigrations and got busted. Whatever happened is totally out of our control and we don’t know any details about it at this point. For the concerts in Germany, Johan Franzon, a Swedish drummer, will take James' seat. Please understand, we keep you posted."
Besides spending a month in jail, Kottak was fined 2,000 dirhams (approximately $545) for drinking alcohol without a license.