BAGHDAD, March 12 (UPI) -- The Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at U.S. President George Bush was sentenced to three years in prison Thursday in an Iraqi court.
Muntazer al-Zaidi, hailed as a hero in some areas of the Middle East, threw two shoes at Bush in December to protest the U.S. presence in Iraq. Neither shoe hit Bush and al-Zaidi was quickly subdued. Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki were attending a news conference in Baghdad at the time of the incident.
In the Middle East, throwing shoes at someone is traditionally a sign of contempt.
Al-Zaidi, who faced a charge of assaulting a visiting head of state, was defended by 17 lawyers, CNN reported. Three judges in the courtroom also were in the courtroom, along with the prosecutor and family members.
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