James Kottak, drummer of the German rock band "Scorpions" was sentenced to one month in prison after being convicted of offensive behavior in Dubai, the government-backed National newspaper reported Tuesday.
Kottak, an American national, was charged with insulting Islam and being under the influence of alcohol on April 3 at Dubai International Airport’s transit hall, while the "Scorpions" were on their way to Bahrain for a concert. Local reports on the court proceedings said that the drummer spoke about “non-educated Muslims,” flashed his middle-finger, and shouted out that he would not travel with groups of Pakistani and Afghan passengers.
"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. 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 in court, denying the charges, according to Gulf News.
While Kottak admitted to drinking alcohol without a permit for which he was fined $550, the 51-year-old drummer’s lawyer reportedly asked the court to exonerate him from the other charges due to contradictory statements from witnesses. The ruling is reportedly subject to appeal within the next 15 days and Kottak, who has been in custody since his arrest, is expected to be released and deported in the coming days.
Kottak joined the Scorpions, best known for their 1980s rock anthem, "Rock You like a Hurricane," and many singles, in 1996.