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Scorpion drummer James Kottak jail term not harsh enough? Dubai prosecutors consider appeal

Cursing a religion in public can be punished with a year in jail, says official

Image Credit: Supplied
Scorpions drummer James Kottak, far left, with his bandmates.
03 Gulf News

Dubai: Prosecutors are considering appealing the one-month jail term handed out to Scorpions drummer, James Kottak.

The member of the German heavy metal band was found guilty of cursing Muslims and gesturing indecently in public while drunk and prosecutors want a lengthier sentence.

Dubai Public Prosecution’s Appeal Section is considering appealing the sentence due to the seriousness of the offence, a chief prosecutor told Gulf News on Wednesday.

The Dubai Misdemeanours Court jailed 51-year-old Kottak on Tuesday for a month cursing a group of Pakistani and Afghan Muslims and dropping his trousers at Dubai International Airport on April 3.

Two ground staff claimed that the American defendant was covering his nose in order not to smell the group of Muslim passengers. He was also heard cursing flydubai, Muslims and the airport.

Kottak was fined Dh2,000 for drinking alcohol and will be deported after serving his jail term.

‘Serious crime’

“The judgement is always handed out upon a judge’s discretion," the chief prosecutor told Gulf News. "The accused committed a serious crime."

He said prosecutors asked the court to implement the Penal Code’s article 312 and 313.

"Just like any other case, the Appeal Section is currently studying the primary judgement’s reasoning and most likely would be considering an appeal for a harsher punishment."

The time frame -- 15 days -- to do so started on Tuesday.

"Prosecutors could ask the Appeal Court for a sterner punishment compatible with the severity of the crime … according to article 312, a suspect, who curses a religion in public, could face a minimum one year in jail and/or a fine."

Lenient punishment

Meanwhile Kottak’s lawyer Hamid Al Khazraji told Gulf News: “We have a 15-day period to decide on whether to appeal the verdict or not. However it is up to our client to decide on that. We sought to acquit him and he received the most lenient punishment.”

In case Kottak does not go for an appeal then he might be leaving the UAE within a day or two considering that he would have already served his month-long imprisonment, said Al Khazraji.

The fine had already been paid.

The accused has been in custody since the incident took place at the airport’s transit hall. Kottak was travelling to Bahrain via Dubai where he was due to play at the Formula 1 Grand Prix.

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Latest Comment

What has happened to people nowadays? According to the news article, themusician was travelling to Bahrain for a performance, which isinterestingly a Muslim country too. They earn money by performing insuch countries and yet they insult them.

Samina Akhtar

1 May 2014 16:21jump to comments
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