PRAGUE (Reuters) - A Czech court sentenced a former Russian soccer player to two and a half years in jail on Monday for starting a drunken brawl on board a 2006 flight that was forced to land in Prague, the Czech news agency CTK said.
The Prague City Court sentenced Yevgeny Rothshtein, formerly called Dogayev, for trying to get into the cockpit, threatening to blow up the Aeroflot plane, and demanding to land in Cairo on the Moscow-Geneva flight, the news agency reported.
The banker and former Dynamo Moscow soccer player denied he had tried to take control of the plane, saying he was only very drunk and trying to sort out a problem with a stewardess. The judge agreed and rejected the state attorney's demand that he be sentenced for hijacking.
Dogayev did not have any explosives on him but the plane landed in Prague after his threats. The judged said he was under the influence of pills and alcohol and should not even have been allowed on board.
Rothshtein has lived in the Czech Republic and Britain since the incident and was extradited by Britain to Czech custody last year. He can appeal the verdict, CTK said.
Reporting by Jan Lopatka; Editing by Larry King