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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

iraqi shoe thower's sentence cut to one year

Iraq shoe thrower's jail term cut

Muntadar al-Zaidi (file image)
Zaidi has always insisted he was making a legitimate protest

The Iraqi journalist who hurled his shoes at former US President George W Bush has had his sentence cut from three years to one year on appeal.

Muntadar al-Zaidi's lawyer argued that the charge should be changed from assault to insulting a foreign leader.

The judge agreed and reduced the term in line with the less serious offence.

An official for the court said the presiding judge had also taken into account the fact that Zaidi had no prior criminal history.

"The appeal court issued its decision today... taking into consideration that he [Zaidi] is still young and doesn't have any previous convictions," said Abdul Sattar al-Birqdar, the spokesman for the Iraqi judicial council.

Grave insult

Zaidi's lawyer, Yaha al-Ittabi, said the decision showed "the independence and the integrity of the Iraqi judiciary".

Shoe hurling is a grave insult in Arab culture, but Mr Bush - who was on a farewell trip to Iraq at the time - shrugged off the attack.

Footage of the shoe hurling incident

The shoe attack happened in mid-December 2008 during a news conference Mr Bush was holding with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Zaidi, of al-Baghdadiya TV, called Mr Bush "a dog" and threw his shoes as a "farewell kiss" from Iraqis who had been killed, orphaned or widowed since the US-led invasion.

"I had the feeling that the blood of innocent people was dropping on my feet during the time that he was smiling and coming to say bye-bye to Iraq with a dinner," Zaidi said during his trial in March.

Hero or criminal?

He was overpowered and arrested and his actions were condemned by the Iraqi government as "shameful".

Udai (L), brother of Iraqi journalist Muntazer al-Zaidi, and other relatives celebrate after Zaidi is given a sentence of 3 years, not 15,  at his trial in March , 2009
Zaidi had faced a potential 15 years in jail, now slashed to one year

But the shoe attack, at a globally televised news conference, was celebrated across the world by critics of the outgoing US president, who ordered the 2003 invasion of the Iraq.

An opinion poll carried out for the BBC and ABC - the full results of which appear next Monday - suggested 62% of the Iraqis polled considered Zaidi a "hero".

Some 24% of the sample said they viewed him as "criminal", while 10% thought he was a hero and criminal equally.

Taking into account pre-trial custody and the customary reductions of sentences, Zaidi is set to be released on 14 September.



Anonymous said...

You are not against tyrants, if you were, where's the "fuck Saddam " label or the "Fuck Islam" label or the "Fuck Obama" label?

If the shoe protester had done that to Saddam he would be tortured for ten years before dying.
Get your priorities straight. Totalitarians are worse than democracies. all US presidents work for the same power elite tyrants, but the ones that wage war on other totalitarians are a little better than the ones who work co-operatively with them.
In either case we are all screwed but preoccupation with Bush is infantile leftism , not anti-tyranny. Monsanto is the real enemy. Kudos to Bush for getting rid of Saddam, Now you just have to replace the US power elite and Bush and Obama with a democracy... oh and destroy all the rest of the world's dictators because unfortunately the tyrants at home serve the function of keeping the tyrants abroad at bay.
You need to get rid of them all.
all of them , not just the ones that remind you of your daddy that wouldn't let you go out and play.
Good luck with that.

splitbabyniblet said...

awww, that was cute, ANONYMOUS patriot. I'm very impressed.

now, please explain to me your views on the secret torture prisons all around the world that the CIA maintains. hmmm? you didn't think it started and stopped with guantanimo and al ghraib, did you? no, of course you didn't...

I'm not against tyrants... haha blow me. so in order to post an article about some guy who heroically threw something at a war criminal, I have to declaim that I also disagree with saddam torturing people?

you are a moron. MORON. get your shit straight. the US installed and funded hussein from the day he became security chief, long before he was a dictator, alright smart guy? you follow, or are my concepts too broad for you? hahaha

thanks for reading... :)

thus always to tyrants authors

Brandon Dean (splitbabyniblet)


Joshua Berry (tattoogeek)

you see what happens?

"I, like the arch-fiend, bore a hell within me, and finding myself unsympathized with, wished to tear up the trees, spread havoc and destruction around me, and then to have sat down and enjoyed the ruin." --Mary Shelley, from Frankenstein