Friday, March 06, 2009

Rokita detained and handcuffed in Munich

Former prominent member of the ruling Civic Platform party, Jan Rokita, was ordered to disembark a Lufthansa plane at Munich airport, Tuesday night, in handcuffs after flight attendants decided his rowdy behaviour was a threat to passenger safety.

Jan Rokita and and his wife Nelly, an MP for the opposition Law and Justice party, were on their way to their home town of Krakow, southern Poland. However, the politician got into an argument with a flight attendant, after she reportedly did not let Rokita’s wife place her coat on a free seat. When the crew asked him to leave the plane, he refused. Soon after, police arrived at the spot and he was made to leave the plane in handcuffs.

Rokita was taken to a nearby police station, where the colourful couple were detained till Wednesday morning.

According to Rokita, the German police officers used foul language while addressing him. His wife said he shouted, “Help! The Germans hit me!” while being detained.

However, German police and media present another version of the story, claiming that Rokita pushed the flight attendant and was rowdy on board the plane, which is against international law.

Nelly Rokita, when interviewed by journalists on Wednesday afternoon, said her husband – who was once tipped to be a future prime minister of Poland - is going to sue Lufthansa.

According to Nelly, this was a case of discrimination as her husband was treated worse than other passengers because he “looked like a foreigner”.

Joachim Brudzinski of the right- wing Law and Justice party has no doubt that Rokita is innocent and calls for Poland to unite around the politician.

The couple, helped out by consul, whom Nelly called an “angel,” clearly stated that they were not going to take any more Lufthansa flights in the future.