Sunday, August 30, 2009
Bush shoe thrower to be freed
An Iraqi journalist jailed after hurling his shoes at George Bush, the former US president, will be released in September. Muntadhar al-Zaidi's sentence was reduced for good behaviour, his lawyer said on Saturday.
Karim al-Shujairi, a defence attorney, said al-Zeidi will now be released on September 14, three months early.
Al-Zaidi was initially sentenced to three years after pleading not guilty to assaulting a foreign leader, then the court reduced it to one year because the journalist had no prior criminal history.
The act of the 30-year-old reporter during Bush's last visit to Iraq as president turned him into a folk hero across the Arab world amid anger over the 2003 invasion.
The incident, which took place on December 14, embarrassed Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister, who was standing next to Bush at the time during a joint news conference.
Neither leader was injured, but Bush was forced to duck for cover as the journalist shouted in Arabic: "This is your farewell kiss, you dog! This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq."