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Iraqi shoe-thrower's sentence reduced

April 7, 2009 at 12:32 PM

BAGHDAD, April 7 (UPI) -- Muntadhar al-Zaidi's sentence for throwing his shoes at former U.S. President George W. Bush has been reduced to a year, his lawyer said Tuesday in Iraq.

A federal appeals court in Baghdad Monday reduced the iraqi journalist's sentence from three years, said Dhiaa al-Saadi, who had appealed the sentenced handed down last month by Iraq's Central Criminal Court.

Bush ducked and was not injured when al Zaidi, 30, threw his shoes during a press conference in Baghdad last December.

Al-Zaidi, who worked for al-Baghdadia TV, was convicted of assaulting a foreign head of state on an official visit to Iraq. Throwing shoes at someone is considered a serious insult in Middle East culture, CNN reported Tuesday.

The shoe-throwing incident made al-Zaidi a hero in the eyes of many critics of the Bush administration. Al-Zaidi now has a global fan base of supporters on the Internet social networking site Facebook, where one of the fan groups is called the "Shoe-Throwing Appreciation Society," CNN reported.

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