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Middle East
Iraqi shoe-thrower trial postponed
Trial delayed for Iraqi journalist who hurled his shoes at Bush.
Last Modified: 30 Dec 2008 18:59 GMT
Muntazer al-Zaidi hurled his footwear at Bush during his final visit to Iraq as US president

Iraq's Central Criminal Court has delayed the trial of an Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at George W Bush during a press conference in Baghdad.

A court spokesman said on Tuesday the postponement was agreed following an appeal by the journalist's lawyers.

The spokesman said a new trial date would be set in due course, pending a higher court ruling on the charges against the journalist. 

Muntazer al-Zaidi, a 29-year-old reporter working for the Iraqi Al-Baghdadia television channel, gained international fame after hurling his footwear at Bush during his farewell visit to Iraq on December 14.

Grave insult

As well as throwing his shoes at the US leader - something that is considered to be a grave insult in the Arab world - al-Zaidi shouted: "It is the farewell kiss, you dog."

However, al-Zaidi was immediately arrested and had been due to appear in court on Wednesday on charges of "aggression against a foreign head of state during an official visit".

If found guilty al-Zaidi could face up to 15 years in jail.

His lawyer, Dhiya al-Saadi, lodged a request for the trial to be cancelled on the grounds that court action would breach al-Zaidi's constitutional right to freedom of expression.

"Our appeal is based on the fact that Zaidi simply expressed his rejection of the occupation and the policy of repression against Iraqis. Zaidi's action falls within the framework of freedom of expression," said al-Saadi.

Source:
Agencies
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