Iraqi shoe-thrower sentenced to three years in prison!Submitted by D4L on Thu, 03/12/2009 - 17:52
BAGHDAD – A court convicted an Iraqi journalist of assault Thursday for hurling his shoes at George W. Bush and sentenced him to three years in prison, prompting an outburst from his family and calls for his release from Iraqis who consider him an icon for a nation decimated by war.
Muntadhar al-Zeidi, 30, defiantly shouted, "Long Live Iraq!" when the sentence was imposed, according to defense lawyers. Some of his relatives collapsed and had to be helped out of the courthouse. Others were forcibly removed by guards after shouting "Down with Bush!"
"This judiciary is unjust," al-Zeidi's brother, Dargham, said tearfully.
Other family members shouted insults against Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who like al-Zeidi is a Shiite.
Although al-Zeidi received the minimum sentence — it could have been 15 years behind bars — his lawyers denounced the verdict and said they would appeal, possibly hoping a public outcry would aid their cause.