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Etihad SYD-AUD F pax jailed for 'drunken rampage'

Etihad SYD-AUD F pax jailed for 'drunken rampage'

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Old Jun 3, 07, 3:27 am
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Etihad SYD-AUD F pax jailed for 'drunken rampage'

Just saw the report in the Sydney nightly news, then found this story through google. Has this been raised here?

Apparently the three Australians, drunk on a SYD-AUD flight, had come on to the FAs (or worse) and are now in deep, deep trouble in Abu Dhabi.

Etihad staff, including two Arabic women, allege they were groped and one of the men then demanded sex in return for money.

It is also alleged they took off their trousers and underpants, and that one of the men stripped and lay naked on a flat bed, refusing attempts to cover him.

"With regard to any sexual misbehaviour, we flatly deny that," Mr Mulcahy said.
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Old Jun 4, 07, 4:37 am
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Update from SMH / The Age tonight (emphasis added for pertinent info):

UAE case against Aussie businessmen adjourned
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three Australians charged in the United Arab Emirates with drinking alcohol and sexual harassment on a plane has been withdrawn, a spokesman for the men says.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.

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 an Etihad flight from Sydney to Abu Dhabi on April 27.

Sean Mulcahy, a spokesman for Snaith and Evans, who are both directors of Jupiter Mines Ltd, said the trio appeared in the Abu Dhabi court today.

Mr Mulcahy said the prosecution evidence submitted to the court had not included evidence from Etihad flight attendants concerning the men's alleged sexual misconduct.

The judges have adjourned the case to consider their verdict, and a decision could be handed down later today.

Mr Mulcahy said he expected the men to be acquitted on all charges.

"It's always been our case that nobody was drunk on the flight, blood and alcohol tests confirmed negative results for drugs or alcohol apart from the minor prescription medication of Mr Sargent," he said.
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Old Jun 4, 07, 4:56 am
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another pov:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems...6/s1941945.htm

Arrested Australians not drunk on flight: lawyer

A lawyer representing three Sydney men charged after allegedly misbehaving on a flight to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has rejected accusations the men were drunk.

The men are appearing in court today on charges including sexual harassment and intoxication.

Two are being detained in custody.

Their lawyer Ross Hill says the men had blood and urine tests when they arrived at Abu Dhabi that showed they were below the legal driving limit for alcohol in New South Wales.

He says one of the men did have a trace of prescription drugs in his system.

"We were hoping to have his doctor's certificate here today but it's not here," he said.

"If we didn't adjourn today's proceeding and pressed on with the issue he'd be automatically facing a minimum term of three years."

Mr Hill has told ABC Radio allegations about drunken behaviour are untrue.

"There was a series of rather nasty events given significant failures of the plane's electrical and mechanical systems that affected the first class cabin, that culminated in a very serious and heated argument where certain things were said," he said.

"We have affidavit evidence from several passengers that are in complete contradiction to the allegations made."

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade says it is providing consular assistance to the men.
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Old Jun 4, 07, 6:56 am
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Originally Posted by flyingsaucer View Post
"There was a series of rather nasty events given significant failures of the plane's electrical and mechanical systems that affected the first class cabin, that culminated in a very serious and heated argument where certain things were said," he said.
If this is true, and the FA's just cooked up the sexual harrassment case to cover up any other arguments about inop IFE, seats or aircon etc etc then I really hope that the relevant authorities take the hardest possible line against Etihad.
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Old Jun 4, 07, 6:45 pm
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Reports from UAE are that one needs a permit to consume alcohol on these middle eastern airlines.

Does that mean we must get a permit before travelling if we want to consume

and hey
why travel on these airlines in F if not to consume the pleasures of the grape?
Im on to my contact right now as a close friend is in F tomorrow

we did a couple of F flights on Emirates and drank the plane dry of dom.. and were standing to tell the tale
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Old Jun 4, 07, 7:40 pm
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Firstly, the reasons for the argument are indeed the shambles I have mentioned in prior posts with regard to EY. They are still having many probs with the (brand new) aircraft..let alone other internal aspects.

No, as a passenger you do not need an alcohol permit to fly. A permit is only required by non muslim expat residents of the UAE. This has been thrown in as a red herring!

This whole story is definitely being convoluted much to the advantage of Etihad..i.e. try to weasel its way out of a bad product. I have no doubt the men went over board (perhaps within their rights if after 30K of airfares between the three of them and the product fell way short)

My 2 cents worth

CJ
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Old Jun 4, 07, 9:58 pm
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Thumbs down Etihad

I have experience with airline stewards ganging up on pax. If pax complain too much, or even say they will complain to the airline office on arrival, giving the crew members name to the airline, then this is what can happen:

The individual crew member will report to their supervisor that the pax 'touched' them, even if only to say they tapped them on the shoulder or arm etc The supervisor will then file a report and then warn the pax accused of the 'touching'. the supervisor will then warn the pax that the authorities will be notified at the arrival destination. Usually the pax will become scared, settle down nd stop complaining. then the supervisor may or may not report it to the authorities at the arrival.

Another trick is to notify customs that the pax was acting strangely, usually giving rise to a very detailed search and delay for the pax concerned.
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Old Jun 4, 07, 10:05 pm
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the newspaper report did indicate that what transpired to the complaints have not been revealed and is unlikely to be revealed. I would be interested as to what transpired.

also passenger complaints are assessed accordingly. Even on Qantas, famous celebrities have been banned. A few from the seven network.
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Old Jun 5, 07, 12:25 am
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Here's both sides

- intriguing how they differ:

The first is from the Khaleej Times and the second from the Sydney Morning Herald.

Australians convicted in sexual harassment case
(Wam)

5 June 2007


ABU DHABI — Two Australians will be deported from the UAE following their conviction for sexual assault and harassment. The two men were found guilty following their trial at Abu Dhabi’s criminal court.

The men faced charges relating to incidents that occurred in the first class cabin of an Etihad Airways flight from Sydney to Abu Dhabi on April 27, 2007. The two men, and a third person, were alleged to have engage in drinking and offensive behaviour throughout the journey. It was alleged that despite repeated requests and warnings the three men continued to behave inappropriately causing concern to staff and passengers.

It was alleged that at one point, the need to divert the flight in order to resolve the situation was considered.

David Andrew Evans was found guilty of sexual assault and was sentenced to a twelve-month custodial sentence, suspended for three years.

He was also charged with public exposure and indecency after allegedly removing his clothing and repeatedly exposing himself during the flight.

Jeremy (Harvey David) as convicted of sexual harassment and given a three-month custodial sentence, suspended for three years.

He was charged with unlawful consumption of cocaine and hashish, after traces of both were returned in a positive drugs test. He was also charged with the use of offensive language in a public place. It was deemed by the court that Jeremy’s positive drug test was the result of consumption prior to his departure to the UAE. The court heard the testimony from a female cabin crew member on use of offensive language and sexual innuendo committed under the influence of alcohol. These ranged from unwelcome advances to actual sexual assault.

A third man, Wiliam Sargent, was acquitted on two charges — the unlawful consumption of temazepam and the use of offensive language in a public place.

Reacting to the verdicts, Etihad Airways spokesperson Ian Burns said: “Etihad Airways will continue to treat reports of alleged assault on our staff extremely seriously. We support prosecutions by the authorities, where there is sufficient evidence, anywhere in the world. The safety of our customers and crew is our number one priority and we will continue to uphold a zero tolerance policy towards disruptive passengers.’’


UAE trial: Aussies avoid jail
June 5, 2007 - 5:59AM

Bill Sergent
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Three Australians detained in the United Arab Emirates hope to leave the country on Tuesday after appearing in court on charges of drinking alcohol and sexual harassment.
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 had been free on bail.
The three first-class passengers were arrested after getting off an Etihad flight from Sydney to Abu Dhabi on April 27.
Snaith was handed a six-month suspended sentence on Monday night, while Evans received a one-year suspended sentence.
Sargent was acquitted of all charges.
But Sean Mulcahy, a spokesman for Snaith and Evans, who are both directors of Jupiter Mines Ltd, said none of the men should have been convicted.
He said key prosecution evidence had been withdrawn on the strength of the defence case, including numerous affidavits from other first class passengers on the flight confirming their version of events.
"We are bitterly disappointed there was any conviction whatsoever," he said.
"We believe these gentlemen should have been exonerated on all charges.
"We were disappointed we couldn't cross examine and provide our own evidence."
Mr Mulcahy said lawyers for the men would be looking further into the case on return to Australia.
A full translation of the verdict would be available on Tuesday, he said.
"We'll find out full details as to what the judgment means," he said.
"We will be looking at the detail once we get back to Australia and looking into whether there are any grounds for appeal."
Mr Mulcahy declined to detail what the three men were accused of doing on the flight.
He said the incident arose out of poor conditions on the plane, including unhelpful staff, seats that wouldn't recline and broken entertainment and airconditioning systems.
"The flight was a disaster from start to finish," he said.
But Etihad Airways corporate communications vice president Iain Burns said: "Nothing justifies the bad behaviour and sexual assault of airline crew that was proven in court."
He said the airline would continue to treat reports of alleged assault on staff "extremely seriously".
"We support prosecutions by the authorities, where there is sufficient evidence, anywhere in the world," he said tonight.
"The safety of our customers and crew is our number one priority and we will continue to uphold a zero tolerance policy towards disruptive passengers."
Mr Mulcahy said the men were still in police custody in the UAE, but hoped to leave on Tuesday.
He said they were negotiating their onward journey and may not fly back to Australia, instead preferring to continue their business trip.
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Old Jun 5, 07, 1:18 am
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And a post on the australian freqent flyer forum gives another serve from the lawyer.
http://www.frequentflyer.com.au/comm...ion-10092.html
Certainly would think twice about flying with etihad,especially as they have been in jail since April.
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Old Jun 5, 07, 3:44 am
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Originally Posted by Cedar Jet View Post
Firstly, the reasons for the argument are indeed the shambles I have mentioned in prior posts with regard to EY. They are still having many probs with the (brand new) aircraft..let alone other internal aspects.

No, as a passenger you do not need an alcohol permit to fly. A permit is only required by non muslim expat residents of the UAE. This has been thrown in as a red herring!

This whole story is definitely being convoluted much to the advantage of Etihad..i.e. try to weasel its way out of a bad product. I have no doubt the men went over board (perhaps within their rights if after 30K of airfares between the three of them and the product fell way short)

My 2 cents worth

CJ
Indeed. After reading this story, I'll certainly be going out of my way to avoid flying on Etihad.
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Old Jun 5, 07, 7:58 pm
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Question

Originally Posted by Cedar Jet View Post
Firstly, the reasons for the argument are indeed the shambles I have mentioned in prior posts with regard to EY. They are still having many probs with the (brand new) aircraft..let alone other internal aspects.

No, as a passenger you do not need an alcohol permit to fly. A permit is only required by non muslim expat residents of the UAE. This has been thrown in as a red herring!

This whole story is definitely being convoluted much to the advantage of Etihad..i.e. try to weasel its way out of a bad product. I have no doubt the men went over board (perhaps within their rights if after 30K of airfares between the three of them and the product fell way short)

My 2 cents worth

CJ
This story will live on until the full transcript is published in an English translation.

Based on today's news reports in Australia, one of the three FAs gave evidence.
Were the affidavits of other pax about the state of the seats/refrigeration/service included in evidence?

The bottom line from TV news reports here is that two of the three pax were indeed charged with some offences including drinking without an alcohol permit (their representative claiming they drank warm champagne - their own duty free stuff?).


Flight rampage man accused of drug use
The lead lawyer for the two executives, Ross Hill, said that his clients had ultimately been convicted of drinking alcohol without a permit.

Mr Mulcahylambasted Etihad.

"Be warned - don't fly Etihad unless you have a permit to drink alcohol because you might end up in an Abu Dhabi prison like these men," he said.

Mr Hill told ABC radio his clients were not drunk, but said they had been convicted of drinking "some warm champagne" served by the airline.

"Even assuming that they were drinking, they would've been no more than .06, and in Australia you can nearly drive your car legally. So there was no alcohol factor involved," Mr Hill said.
Like CJ and others here, I hope that QR begins a SYD service, pronto.

Last edited by BiziBB; Jun 5, 07 at 8:04 pm Reason: SMH quote, from lawyer
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Old Jun 6, 07, 4:05 am
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I certainly would not fly this airline after this report.
many of the F pax on that flight have emailed and sent letters backing up the guys and saying that the staff and the service were the problem.
I sent a collegue on F in early may and he was very unimpressed he said the service was frightfully slow they even two hours too bring him water.
he said if he hadnt got it for $A7300 which was the lead in price he would be not happY!

I think there should and probably will be a report with all the people from the F cabin to let the public know what sort of airline this is.
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Old Jun 6, 07, 5:26 am
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QF : Man Denied Boarding Because of T-Shirt

http://www.onlinetravelreview.com/on...nied_boar.html

A man was not permitted to board a Qantas flight from Melbourne to London because he was wearing a t-shirt that had a photo of George Bush with the phrase, "World's #1 Terrorist." The passenger had been asked to remove the shirt a couple of days earlier on a Qantas domestic flight and, because of that, asked Qantas staff if he could wear the shirt on the international flight. He could not. I wonder if he could've worn the shirt if it said "World's #17 Terrorist." What number would have been acceptable? Hm.
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Old Jun 6, 07, 5:10 pm
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Originally Posted by G_G View Post
http://www.onlinetravelreview.com/on...nied_boar.html

A man was not permitted to board a Qantas flight from Melbourne to London because he was wearing a t-shirt that had a photo of George Bush with the phrase, "World's #1 Terrorist." The passenger had been asked to remove the shirt a couple of days earlier on a Qantas domestic flight and, because of that, asked Qantas staff if he could wear the shirt on the international flight. He could not..
I think this is posted in the wrong thread, wrong forum...was expecting some new info on the story above.

Anyway, SMH now reports these developments:
Deported businessmen set to sue airline SMH reports...

The case of three Australians charged with drunken, lewd behaviour aboard a first class flight to the Middle East is set to move to a Sydney courtroom.

While businessmen Jeremy Snaith and David Evans were due to be flown to Bangkok early this morning after being convicted in an Abu Dhabi court of offensive behaviour and given suspended prison sentences, their lawyer, Ross Hill, is preparing to sue the airline, Etihad, for malicious prosecution and unlawful detention.

Mr Hill says his clients are not only innocent of the charges, which included being drunk, lewd and even naked in the first-class cabin, but have spent a month in a desert prison eating camel, at least in Snaith's case, and have suffered business losses.

But like everything else in this case the details are unclear.
Mr Hill said the men would prefer to appeal against the convictions but that would mean staying in prison for another month. "It's a hard balance for them - stay another month in prison or cop it on the chin and get out of there."

He insisted all the alcohol tests came back negative, which contradicts the airline's version that the men were drinking heavily from their duty free purchases.

"We don't blame the authorities. They were doing their job. We blame Etihad."
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