Lord Fraser of Carmyllie, the former senior law officer for Scotland, has been charged with disrupting a flight on a journey from London, it emerged last night.
The Tory peer, who used to be the lord advocate, was on a ScotAirways flight from London City Airport to Dundee on Tuesday night when the incident occurred.
Police met the aircraft when it touched down and Lord Fraser was kept back while the other passengers disembarked.
In what is a major embarrassment for one of Scotland's best-known legal figures, Lord Fraser, 61, was taken to Dundee police headquarters, arrested and charged.
A witness, who did not want to be named, said: "He [Lord Fraser] asked perfectly politely to explain why, when he had a club ticket, he had been put in the back of the plane.
"From what I could see, they made no effort to explain. I heard no raised voices or anything during the flight."
Another passenger on the flight said: "All I noticed was that they kept the light on for seatbelts, even though we were flying in ideal conditions.
"I noticed that the girl who was dishing out the drinks dashed up to the back of the plane and then went into the cockpit to report something to the pilot.
"When I got off the plane, Lady Fraser was waiting."
Flights had been delayed or cancelled throughout the day because of fog in London, and Lord Fraser's original flight, which had been due to arrive at 6pm, was cancelled.
He boarded a later one, which touched down at 9:20pm.
Police sources confirmed last night that Lord Fraser had been reported to the procurator-fiscal for an alleged offence under Section 78 of the Air Navigation Order 2005. The order prohibits the use of threatening, abusive or insulting language towards a member of aircraft crew or disorderly behaviour.
A spokesman for Tayside Police said last night: "A 61-year-old man has been reported to the procurator-fiscal following an alleged incident on board a ScotAirways flight from London City to Dundee Airport." A spokesman for the Crown Office, which Lord Fraser used to lead, confirmed that the prosecuting authorities were investigating the incident. He said: "Crown counsel have considered the report from Tayside Police in this matter and have instructed further inquiries before any decision is taken on proceedings."
ScotAirways has started its own investigation into the incident.
A spokesman said yesterday: "ScotAirways has no comment to make on any passenger who travels on any of its services.
"Any incidents on flights are taken very seriously and subject to an internal investigation," the spokesman added.
TOUGH RULES TO STOP DISORDERLY BEHAVIOUR
THE Air Navigation Orders of 2001 and 2005 toughened the rules tackling "air rage" in order to deal with bad behaviour on flights by passengers and crew.
The rules are statutory instruments under the Civil Aviation Act of 1982.
Section 78, under which Lord Fraser is understood to have been charged, deals with "disruptive behaviour".
The section forbids anyone on board from using threatening, abusive or insulting words towards aircrew, behaving in a threatening, abusive, insulting or disorderly manner towards aircrew, or intentionally interfering with the performance by aircrew of their duties.
Although it is also intended to deal with hijackings, it has mostly been used to handle drunk or disruptive passengers.
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