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Iraqi shoe thrower's trial postponed

Latest update : 2008-12-30

The trial of the Iraqi journalist Muntazer al-Zaidi, who rose to instant stardom when he threw his shoes at US President George W. Bush, has been postponed until an unspecified future date, after his lawyer filed a request to cancel the trial.

Read the article: Shoes that smell of revenge take flight on the Web

AFP - Iraq's Central Criminal Court decided on Tuesday to postpone the trial of an Iraqi journalist who won global fame for throwing his shoes at US President George W. Bush, a court spokesman said.

"The postponement came after Zaidi's lawyers presented an appeal to a higher court," Abdel Sattar Beyraqdar told AFP.

"The Supreme Criminal Court decided to postpone the trial of journalist Muntazer al-Zaidi until the higher court issues its decision," he said, adding that a new trial date would be set later.

The 29-year-old journalist for the Al-Baghdadia television channel had been due to appear in court this Wednesday on charges of "aggression against a foreign head of state during an official visit."

He faces up to 15 years in jail if convicted.

Zaidi's lawyer, Dhiya al-Saadi, told AFP that he had requested that the trial be cancelled because his client's actions fell within his constitutional rights to express himself freely.

"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," his lawyer told AFP earlier this week.

"If the court rejects our request for cancellation, the defence will appeal to a higher court," Saadi said.

Zaidi threw his shoes at Bush during the US president's farewell visit to Iraq on December 14, an action considered a grave insult in the Arab world.

He also insulted the American president, shouting: "It is the farewell kiss, you dog."

His action was hailed across the Arab world as an ideal parting gift to a president widely unpopular in the region.

Date created : 2008-12-30