Russian web exec says 'intoxicated MP held up plane'

9th October 2013, Comments 0 comments

The deputy head of Russia's top social network on Wednesday claimed that a senior ruling party lawmaker delayed a flight from Saint Petersburg to Moscow with disorderly and abusive behaviour while heavily intoxicated.

Andrei Isayev of the United Russia party and an aide were both clearly intoxicated when they boarded the flight of flag-carrier Aeroflot, the deputy head of the VKontakte social network Ilya Perekopsky said.

Isayev denied that he had been drunk but admitted that his aide Alexander Polglazov had been in a state of intoxication and had been cautioned by the police.

"Judging by their behaviour you could see that they were under the influence," said Perekopsky, adding that the pair had been abusive to the stewardess and had been removed from the plane by the police.

"Go tell your voters that because of you and your doped-up aide the whole plane waited for the police to take you off the Saint Petersburg-Moscow flight," he added.

Saint Petersburg-based VKontakte, whose founder and chief executive is Pavel Durov, is by far Russia's most popular social network, easily outstripping rivals like Facebook.

Durov, a mysterious figure who does not give interviews, has on occasion spoken out with pro-opposition comments, notably recently over the incarceration of Pussy Riot punk rocker Nadezhda Tolokonnikova.

Isayev however said it had only been his aide who was drunk and he had left the plane of his own accord and had not been arrested.

"There were no claims against me," he said in a statement about Tuesday evening's incident.

Aeroflot said that Polglazov had been in a state of "strong alcoholic intoxication" and had been handed over to members of the security forces while Isayev had left the plane of his own free will.

Spokesman Andrei Sogrin told the state RIA Novosti news agency that according to the crew's report, Isayev had asked that his aide was moved into business class and "threatened the crew with the sack".

Police said that Polglazov was given a 100-ruble fine (less than $3). Russian lawmakers have been considering toughening the laws on drunken behaviour on planes after a string of recent incidents.

© 2013 AFP

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