Middle East

Scorpions drummer James Kottak jailed in Dubai

James Kottak on stage Image copyright AP
Image caption James Kottak joined German band Scorpions in 1996

The drummer for the German rock band Scorpions has been sentenced to one month in jail in Dubai for offensive behaviour, according to local media.

They say James Kottak, an American national, was convicted of insulting Islam, raising his middle finger and being under the influence of alcohol.

Kottak, 51, admitted to drinking alcohol but denied the other charges.

The reported incident occurred at Dubai airport on 3 April, when Scorpions were en route to Bahrain for a concert.

Kottak was arrested following a disturbance in the transit hall, the National newspaper reports.

The court heard he started swearing and talking about "non-educated Muslims", then flashed his middle finger.

Witnesses also testified that they heard Kottak shouting that he would not travel with a group of Pakistani and Afghan passengers.

Denying the charges, he said: "I did not curse Muslims or Islam. I would never do such a thing even if I was drunk," according to Gulf News.

However, he admitted drinking alcohol without a licence, and was fined Dh2,000 ($550; £320), reports said.

Kottak is expected to be released and deported in the coming days as he has been in custody since his arrest.

Best known for their power ballads, including the 1990 hit single Wind of Change, Scorpions have released more than 20 albums since they formed in 1965.

Kottak joined the band in 1996.

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