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Scorpions Drummer James Kottak Back in U.S. After Jail Time in Dubai

James Kottak
Ethan Miller, Getty Images
Scorpions drummer James Kottak is back on U.S. soil after having to spend time in a Dubai jail following an incident on a flight from Moscow to Dubai. The rocker was arrested for being drunk, making derogatory remarks to passengers on board his flight and exposing himself to others at the airport.

The drummer was eventually convicted for insulting Islam, flashing his middle finger at the passengers and consuming alcohol, which is illegal in Dubai. He was sentenced to a month in jail, which made him unavailable for Scorpions touring. For his part, Kottak admitted to drinking alcohol but denied that he had insulted Islam, had flashed his middle finger and did not moon people within the airport. He did state that he did lift his shirt to show a tattoo on his back but did not drop his trousers. He was fined $2,000 dirhams (approximately $545) for drinking alcohol without a license.

In his place, the band moved quickly to secure Mark Cross to handle drums at their April 5 show at the 2014 Formula One Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix. Swedish drummer Johan Franzon filled the void for the band’s remaining dates.

In a new message posted at the Scorpions Facebook page, the band stated, “James Kottak boarded a plane out of Dubai and arrived in the U.S. last night. He will have to find the time to sort out his problems … Scorpions.”

The terse statement issued by Scorpions does not state whether or not Kottak will immediately reclaim his position behind the drum kit with the group.

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