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Aussie Businessmen On Trial for getting Drunk on Etihad Flight.

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Aussie Businessmen On Trial for getting Drunk on Etihad Flight.

Old 4th Jun 2007, 12:37
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Aussie Businessmen On Trial for getting Drunk on Etihad Flight.

Taken from Melbourne Herald Sun,

THREE Australians facing charges of drinking alcohol and sexual harassment were expected today to appear before a United Arab Emirates court.

Businessman Jeremy Snaith and another Australian, William Sargent, are in custody near Abu Dhabi facing drug, sexual harassment and intoxication charges, the Department of Foreign Affairs has said.

A third Australian, David Evans, was charged with sexual harassment, indecent exposure and intoxication but was released on bail.

The three first-class passengers were arrested after getting off an Etihad flight from Sydney to Abu Dhabi on April 27.

A spokesman for Snaith and Evans, who are both directors of Jupiter Mines Ltd, said the trio were due in the Abu Dhabi court at 9am local time.

Spokesman Sean Mulcahy said the prosecution brief had contained a surprising charge.

"The most interesting charge that we find the gentlemen are facing is drinking alcohol on a flight as non-Muslims without a permit," Mr Mulcahy told AAP from Abu Dhabi.

"I'd be very concerned if I was flying Etihad at this point in time as a passenger if you did have your ticket booked that you had your alcohol drinking permit."

Mr Mulcahy said he expected the trial to be adjourned today because Sargent's lawyers were awaiting a medical certificate from his doctor explaining his legitimate need for the prescription drugs found in his system.

All three men were being tried together so while Snaith and Evans were ready to proceed they would not be able to do so, Mr Mulcahy said.

Snaith and Sargent are being held at Al Wathba prison, about 100km out of Abu Dhabi in the desert, where temperatures reach over 50C.

The trio have previously denied all charges.




Maybe they should have just gang raped someone or beaten their wife to death with a rubber pipe, and then they would probably get off with a stern warning.
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Old 4th Jun 2007, 12:51
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Must have been the unique hospitality of the Etihad girls...
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Old 4th Jun 2007, 12:56
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Abu Dhabi - Three Australian business-men facing sex, drink and drug charges following a flight from Sydney to Abu Dhabi are due to appear in court tomorrow. The men, who were flying in the first-class compartment of an Etihad Airways flight to the UAE, were arrested on their arrival in the capital after their flight touched down on April 27.

It is alleged that the men, all aged between 25 and 35-years-old, were drinking heavily on the 14-hour flight when they sexually harassed a number of air-hostesses on the flight. One female member of the cabin crew reported to police that one of the men tried to pull down her skirt as she walked through the aisle.
It is also alleged that another of the accused dropped his own trousers in view of crew and stunned passengers while the others performed drunken antics while wearing in-flight pyjamas. Three air-hostesses reported the men to police following their lewd behaviour when the flight landed. They were subsequently arrested and transferred to the Al Wathba prison in Abu Dhabi and face charges of sexual harassment, indecent exposure and intoxication.
The men deny the charges against them with two claiming that the drugs they took before the flight left Australia were legal tranquilisers to calm their fear of flying. Two of those due to appear in court are directors of an Australian mining company. Reports in Australia said two of the men were released on bail then re-arrested after the results of a toxicology report proved positive.
A spokesman for the mining company said the trouble arose from problems with the first class cabin of the Etihad flight. He said: “The allegations against these highly respectable Australian businessmen are denied and we are confident of a speedy and amicable resolution to the issues.” A hearing in Abu Dhabi last month ruled that all three men have a case to answer and all face lengthy prison sentences if they are convicted of any of the charges against them.
Iain Burns, VP Corporate Communications, Etihad Airways, told 7DAYS: “Eithad Airways will await the decision of the Abu Dhabi court. However, we treat reported assaults on our staff and drunkenness on our aircraft extremely seriously and support any prosecution. The safety and security of our customers and staff is our number one priority and we have a zero tolerance policy towards disruptive passengers.”


According to this they don't look so innocent....
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Old 4th Jun 2007, 13:00
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You would think the FA's would stop serving drinks a little before they got to that stage...
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Old 4th Jun 2007, 13:06
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I don't think anyone is saying they are innocent of all charges but the scary thing is the charge of drinking without a liquor license and of having illegal (by UAE law anything derived from opium eg. anything with codeine is illegal) drugs in their system, makes most western passengers on flights through the UAE criminals.

If the reports of their behaviour are correct then they should have the book thrown at them for that, but as far as the drinking without a license and having drugs in their system, well they sound like a bit of a crock.
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Old 4th Jun 2007, 13:21
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Welcome to Abu Dhabi.......No comment!
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Old 4th Jun 2007, 13:54
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From a report in Oz today:

Monday June 4, 10:32 PM
UAE judges deciding on Aussies' charges
"Key prosecution evidence against three Australians charged in the United Arab Emirates with drinking alcohol and sexual harassment on a plane has been withdrawn, a spokesman for the men says.
Businessmen Jeremy Snaith and William Sargent have been in custody near Abu Dhabi facing drug, sexual harassment and intoxication charges."

Drinking on a plane was always going to be difficult to prosecute, you'd have to arrest everyone on ME flights! Besides are you really in the UAE when drinking on board?
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Old 4th Jun 2007, 14:08
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Here an Aussie 777 Capt is fighting to stay out of prison after being set up by some arabs.
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Old 4th Jun 2007, 14:17
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It is no surprise, I have seen this happen more than once, behind the glamour of the UAE and the cash rich life, what often expats fail to see is the true nature of the people of this region, arrid and dry like the desert they live in.
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Old 4th Jun 2007, 14:27
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B1 and B2 are going home

Three Australians are to be deported from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) within 24 hours after appearing in court on drinking and sexual harassment charges.
Businessman Jeremy Snaith was given a three-month suspended sentence after being found guilty of drug, sexual harassment and intoxication charges.
William Sargent faced similar charges but was acquitted.
The third Australian, David Evans, was charged with sexual harassment, indecent exposure and intoxication but was given a one-year suspended sentences by the court in Abu Dhabi
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Old 4th Jun 2007, 14:35
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I agree that some of the charges sound a bit desperate but is this not a euro /aussie lawyer trying to put an anti westerner spin on it!....these guys were pissed and out of order....period.

If these guys behaved as the crew descibed then throw the book at them, its yobs like these that make all our lives difficult, why should anyone have to suffer this kind of crap from passengers.

Well done EY!
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Old 4th Jun 2007, 17:00
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I heard it straight from the mouth of the pilot on board and they acted in a very bad way and deserve what they get as none of us would accept such acts on any flight. We have all seen such things and i dont think anypilot would sit and be quite about this. What ever you said about the UAE, this would not be tolerated anywhere.
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Old 4th Jun 2007, 23:41
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William had charges dropped. So an innocent person spent time in prison in UAE and then deported. Isn't it an exciting prospect to consider when you or your countrymen make legitimate complains to the crew.
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Old 5th Jun 2007, 03:13
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The plot thickens.

THREE Australian businessmen will be booted out of the United Arab Emirates today after a nightmare six-week stay which led to their trial on sexual harassment and intoxication charges.

Lawyer Ross Hill rejected allegations that the three men had been drunk and disorderly during their flight into the country or that they sexually harassed a flight attendant.

They had been tested for alcohol consumption and readings were negative, he said.

But he did admit there had been an argument aboard the Etihad Airlines flight from Sydney to Abu Dhabi on April 27.

Businessmen Jeremy Snaith and William Sargent have been in custody near Abu Dhabi facing drug, sexual harassment and intoxication charges.

The third Australian, David Evans, was charged with sexual harassment, indecent exposure and intoxication but was released on bail.

The three first-class passengers were arrested after getting off the Etihad flight from Sydney.

Snaith yesterday was handed a six-month suspended sentence, while Evans received a one-year suspended sentence.

Mr Sargent was acquitted of all charges.

Mr Hill said they were to be deported.

"They should be out of the country within 24 hours. We are very hopeful that that is the timeframe, but things never quite work as you expect in these countries. They are certainly free to go," Mr Hill told ABC radio.

Mr Hill said a row between the men and staff broke out after a series of electrical and mechanical problems.

He said the air conditioning wasn't working properly in the first class cabin and the men were told they couldn't use their laptops.

"The service was bad, there was not enough food and there were problems with their refrigeration," he said.

"That culminated in a rather extensive argument between several passengers and the cabin staff.

Mr Hill said the claim of sexual harassment against Evans related to him touching the arm of an attendant.

He said Snaith also was fined an unspecified sum for drinking some warm champagne served by the airline.

"Everyone be warned - don't fly Etihad unless you have a permit to drink alcohol, because if you don't and you have cross words with somebody you could end up in exactly the same position," he said.

"There was no alcohol factor involved. There was a whole lot of personality factors involved. They are the sort of issues we will be addressing, backed by irrefutable evidence, when we are out of here."


Happy Pilot, I have to disagree with you that this would happen anywhere and not just in the UAE. Nowhere else in the world would charge non-residents with drinking on their carrier without having a liquor license, as the civilised parts of the world allow people to make decisions like drinking alcohol for themselves and not sell permits for it. Most likely in the Western world these guys would have been simply offloaded and made to find other arrangements to get themselves where they were going, and be banned from using the carrier again, not locked up in jail for this length of time.
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Old 5th Jun 2007, 05:12
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EY?

ANS,

I have to disagree with most of your points.

EY did not lock them up and charge them with consumption of alcohol. The UAE government did that. (The EY staff only made the complaint and handed the matter over to the police on arrival, as would any other airline anywhere in the world in a similar situation.)

I do agree with you that the charge of consuming alcohol on board without a permit is ridiculous as, as far as I know the a/c was in international airspace at the time and not under control of UAE law.( Correct me if I am wrong, I am not a lawyer)

To make a stupid statement like warning people against flying Etihad because of this is just that, stupid and ignorant. Why not add to that list Emirates, Quatar, Gulf, Jazeera and indeed any other carrier from anywhere in the world that lands in the UAE! The law is the same all over the UAE and not made by Etihad. The same would have happened regardless of which carrier they were on.

These Business men were resident in the UAE, so therefor must have known what the laws regarding alcohol,etc were. They should have also had an understanding of the way things work here and realized that the only losers in this whole thing would be them and their families.

The clever thing, as a businessman, to have done would have been to formally complain about any discrepancies in writing to Etihad and take the refund or what ever compensation Etihad might have offered.

However it is always easy to find a solution in the sober light of day.
 
Old 5th Jun 2007, 05:48
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Sir Osis of the river, i believe that even if flying in international airspace other than the country which the aircraft is registered in, the laws of the country of which the aircraft is registered will be enforced inside the aircraft no matter which country it flies over.... So flying etihad respect UAE laws, qatar = Qatari , Jazeera= Kuwaiti, Virgin= UK law etc ......
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Old 5th Jun 2007, 06:50
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The plot thickens

Would it happen that the stewardesses were those morrocan girls that joined us a few years ago from Gulf Air, the same that did not work there for years beacause of a " back injury" that suddenly disappeared once here. The same girl who is so friendly with Sheikh and the boys?

Sir Osis of the river, you continue to ply us with your uncommon sense, is EY offering a service or are they telling how it should be done when things do not work. I will beg to differ from your train of thought, Etihad is competing in an international market and the laws and rules of the UAE play jack sh*t in that, in fact they are a burden and passenger may start flying Saudia, which they might after all hearing what you have to say about how an airline should offer its service.
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Old 5th Jun 2007, 08:34
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....These Business men were resident in the UAE, so therefor must have known what the laws regarding alcohol,etc were.

Sir Osis, what are you saying here, that all residents should carry their grog license when they go flying ? I don't think these guys were UAE residents anyway, as directors/managers of an Australian resources company, I could be wrong. EK serves champagne to its 1st class passengers on the ground in Dubai and I would be surprised if EY was any different in Abu Dhabi. So how do you reconcile that with the law?

To the best of my knowledge, drunk passengers on EK who get met be security do not get charged with drinking without a licence, it would be plain stupid and against the interest of the airline and therefor the government. Either way EY has got nothing but bad PR from this and I would wager that you haven't heard the last from these guys on the issue as it is a regular humourous news article in business news in Australia. I must point out that I do not condone bad passenger behaviour, I have had enough of that.
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Old 5th Jun 2007, 09:21
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What plot?

MR, What has the nationality, (or sex for that matter), have to do with this. I have no idea what the Moroccan girl did to you, but get over IT:rolleye

If there is an alledged, Read carefully MR, I said alledged, incident involving crew, regardless of race or sex, it needs to be reported and investigated. Properly.
I am NOT, however condoning the summerally throwing in jail on trumped up charges that SEEMS to have occured here.

FSM, I agree with you, if you read my third paragraph, ( which on rereading, I did not make clear enough.) Requiring alcohol licences to drink on board any a/c operating in the Gulf region, be they on the ground or airborne, would be just plain ridiculous and certainly spell huge trouble for a carrier's pax loads.
Do we now agree that the whole matter was completely mishandled?
 
Old 5th Jun 2007, 09:39
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Devil Hypocrisy


Sir Osis of the river;
"These Business men were resident in the UAE, so therefore must have known what the laws regarding alcohol, etc were. They should have also had an understanding of the way things work here and realized that the only losers in this whole thing would be them and their families".

(WARNING: This is an EY announcement: You are welcome to consume alcohol on board the aircraft while you are international airpace, but be prepared for the consequence when you land in the UAE!!!) Oh, if you carry any medicine with you, especially codeine, we recommend you flush it in the toilet before you disembark

Don't you think this is an even more ridiculous statement than other ones which have been made on this forum?? The UAE law is a huge hypocrisy. They allow the pubs and hotels to serve alcohol and other night clubs to be opened and serve alcohol even in RAMADAN (Fasting holy month) without any worries about who should be served alcohol or not. Isn't it true that these premises have to have a UAE NATIONALS ownership or UAE partner?? and isn't it true that the UAE NATIONALS ARE MOSLEMS?? and isn't it true that the UAE MOSLEM NATIONALS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO HAVE A PERMIT TO SELL ALCOHOL.

Give me break! I do not condone bad behaviour anywhere let alone on board a flight but I know for fact that most of the EY crew are not up to other international airline standards. I have flown with them and most of them are very nice, but I know their standard. This is NOT THEIR FAULT but mostly lack of training and experience in handling such situations.
Just a thought, do you think those businessmen just MAY have been right with regards to their complaints? After all, I think you know how much these seats do cost to occupy. They are not cheap.

Just out of curiosity, did this aircraft happen to be an A340-500?? As it happens, this is the most complained about aircraft as far as the first class section is concerned.

Finally, if you want to speak about rights of an individual in these countries, I think you'd better be prepared to leave your rights at the door of the aircraft. Does shifting the goal post when it suits you mean anything to you?? That's the law in the UAE.

Happy and safe flying to all.

www.news.com.au/perthnow/story/0,21598,21851676-2761,00.html


1676-2761,00.html


 

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