An Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at former US President George W Bush has been sentenced to three years in jail.
Muntazer al-Zaidi hurled two shoes shouting that Bush was a “dog” and the footwear was a “farewell kiss from the people of Iraq,” during a news conference in Bagdhad in December. The 30-year-old faced a maximum prison term of 15-years for attacking a foreign leader on an official visit: “We launched an appeal but withdrew it. This was a court set up to try terrorists by appealing we would only legitimise the court,” said his lawyer. Al-Zaidi’s legal team wanted the charge changed to “insulting” a foreign head of state, which carries a two year penalty or a fine. His brother expressed his anger: “Whoever said the system of justice in Iraq is independent is stupid. The court was politically driven. It was established by Paul Bremmer and the sentence was dictated by Bush.” Al-Zaidi has since become a hero in the Arab world and shoe throwing has been adopted as a form of political protest across the globe.