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Shoe-throwing reporter headed to court

Dec. 16, 2008 at 5:33 PM
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BAGHDAD, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- The Iraqi reporter who threw two shoes at the U.S. president will go before an Iraqi judge, the first step in a possible criminal prosecution, his lawyer said.

After Wednesday's hearing, a criminal court judge will decide whether there is sufficient evident to try reporter Muntader al-Zaidi, who threw his shoes -- an insult in Iraq -- at President George Bush during a weekend news conference in Baghdad, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

"I will introduce myself as his lawyer and demand the case be closed and Muntader be released because he did not commit a crime," said Dheyaa Saadi, al-Zaidi's lawyer and head of the Union of Lawyers in Iraq. "He only freely expressed himself to the occupier, and he has such a right according to international law."

Under Iraqi law, al-Zaidi could face up to seven years in prison for the crime of initiating an aggressive act against a head of a foreign state on an official visit, the newspaper said.

The brother of the al-Zaidi said the journalist wanted to humiliate Bush.

Dhirgham al-Zaidi said the reporter has a loathing for the "material American occupation" and the "moral Iranian occupation," CNN reported Tuesday.

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