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Old 03-12-2009, 09:05 PM   #1
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Default Shoe thrower jailed for 3 years

Iraqi who threw shoes at Bush jailed for 3 years



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.
Al-Zeidi's brazen act during a Dec. 14 press conference by Bush and al-Maliki in Baghdad's Green Zone turned the young reporter into a folk hero across the Arab world, where the former U.S. president is reviled for invading Iraq in 2003 and for other policies.
Many Iraqis interviewed after the verdict believed the sentence was too harsh and that al-Zeidi was a hero for standing up to the American president. Supporters defended his act as a political statement in Arab culture, where throwing shoes at someone is considered an especially serious insult.
But protests on al-Zeidi's behalf have drawn few participants since December, and there was no sign of spontaneous rallies Thursday after the noontime verdict.
It appeared unlikely, therefore, that al-Maliki would recommend a presidential pardon for the journalist, at least anytime soon.
Al-Maliki was deeply embarrassed by the assault against an American president who had stood by him when some Arab leaders were quietly urging the U.S. to oust him. His aides had said the prime minister was personally offended by such an insult to a foreign guest.
The speed of the trial two relatively brief hearings is likely to feed widespread suspicion among Iraqis that al-Maliki's government orchestrated the process, although defense lawyers said they had no evidence of interference.
Spokesmen for Bush and for the State Department both called the verdict "a matter for the Iraqi judicial system."
During Thursday's proceedings, chief defense attorney Dhia al-Saadi moved that the charges be dismissed, saying al-Zeidi's act was "an expression of freedom" and not a crime.
"It was an act of throwing a shoe, not a rocket," he told the court. "It was meant as an insult to the occupation."
Al-Zeidi, wearing a beige suit over a brown shirt and brown leather shoes, then entered a plea of not guilty.
Judge Abdul-Amir al-Rubaie cleared the courtroom of all spectators and announced the verdict, which was relayed to reporters and family members by defense lawyers and a court official.
News of al-Zeidi's sentence drew quick reactions across the capital.
"Al-Zeidi should have been honored and not sent to prison," said Salam Omar, who owns a cell phone shop in eastern Baghdad.
Nasir al-Saadi, a lawmaker loyal to Shiite opposition leader Muqtada al-Sadr, said the court "should have adopted a more humane approach and released him."
"It is an illegitimate and unfair sentence because he hit the commander of an occupying force," said Ahmed al-Obeidi, who lives in Baghdad's Sunni district of Azamiyah.
An ABC News/BBC/NHK poll released Thursday found that 62 percent of Iraqis surveyed considered al-Zeidi a hero and only 24 percent considered him a criminal.
Support was highest among Sunni Arabs 84 percent and lowest among the Kurds at 38 percent, according to ABC.
ABC said the findings were based on 2,228 face-to-face interviews with a random national sample of Iraqis conducted Feb. 17-25. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points. The full survey will be released Monday ahead of the sixth anniversary of the war, ABC said.
The head of the Iraqi Journalists' Union, Mouyyad al-Lami, urged the government to pardon al-Zeidi, saying the young journalist "deserves a second chance to start a new life."
But Serwan Gharaib, a journalist in the Kurdish city of Sulaimaniyah, said al-Zeidi had violated journalistic ethics by exploiting his access to Bush.
"I may understand the suffering of the Iraqi people due to the occupation, but I do not understand the bizarre method of protest conducted by al-Zeidi," he said.
Al-Zeidi, a correspondent for a small Iraqi-owned television station based in Cairo, Egypt, has been in Iraqi custody since the incident.
When al-Zeidi threw his shoes at Bush, he shouted in Arabic: "This is your farewell kiss, you dog! This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq."
On Thursday, defense lawyers quoted al-Zeidi as telling them, "At that moment, I saw nothing but Bush, and I felt the blood of the innocents flowing under his feet while he was smiling that smile."
Bush quickly ducked to avoid being hit and was not injured. Guards wrestled al-Zeidi to the ground and dragged him away.
The trial began on Feb. 19 but was adjourned until Thursday after the defense argued that the assault charge was inapplicable because Bush was not in Baghdad on an official visit, having arrived unannounced and without an invitation.
On Thursday, the judge accepted a statement from al-Maliki's office that the visit was official.
Last month, a German student threw a shoe at Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao during a speech at Britain's Cambridge University. The student, Martin Jahnke, is free on bail until his trial in June on charges of disturbing public order.
___
Associated Press Writer Sameer N. Yacoub contributed to this report.




http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090312/..._mi_ea/ml_iraq


Jailed! This guy should only go to jail because he missed!
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Old 03-12-2009, 09:13 PM   #2
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Default Re: Shoe thrower jailed for 3 years

Sure, he throws a shoe at Bush and blames him for the Widows/Orphas etc...but how many suicide bombers were responsible for killing innocent men, women and children? Bet he doesn't have the brass to throw a shoe at them.
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Old 03-12-2009, 09:20 PM   #3
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Default Re: Shoe thrower jailed for 3 years

good.

when this happened it was the second of 2 "bush" threads i have started on this board, my entire time here, where i applauded his cat like reflexes.

i dont care who the president is... some towel head foreigner throwing a shoe at him is like throwing a shoe at me, and a black eye for all of america had he been hit.
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Old 03-12-2009, 09:45 PM   #4
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Default Re: Shoe thrower jailed for 3 years

I'm thinking, if you did that here, you'd go to jail too

and if you did that to Saddam back in the day, you, your family, and maybe all of your neighbours would all be dead...

and if you did it in China...they'd call out the tanks on you...and then send your family to be re-educated in camps...

Guess this guy should count his blessings. Or he could go throw a shoe at Osama Bin Laden and see how well he is treated after that.
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Old 03-13-2009, 12:07 AM   #5
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Default Re: Shoe thrower jailed for 3 years

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Originally Posted by tony hipchest View Post
good.

when this happened it was the second of 2 "bush" threads i have started on this board, my entire time here, where i applauded his cat like reflexes.

i dont care who the president is... some towel head foreigner throwing a shoe at him is like throwing a shoe at me, and a black eye for all of america had he been hit.

yeah, thats why I don't understand why he's such a hero in Iraq, he didnt even hit Bush hmmmm..... wonder if Obama could have dodged those smelly missiles?
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Old 03-13-2009, 12:35 AM   #6
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Default Re: Shoe thrower jailed for 3 years

this thread isnt even about obama, so i see no sense in even bringing it up unless your (unsuccessfully) trying to "get under toneys skin".



not gonna happen.... BRAH!
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Old 03-13-2009, 12:38 AM   #7
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Default Re: Shoe thrower jailed for 3 years

Three years seems a little much to me. Sure, it was a scare, but a shoe wouldn't have killed him. I can't consider it a SERIOUS assualt. All the same, they can do what they will. I have no protest to that penatly.
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Old 03-13-2009, 12:47 AM   #8
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Default Re: Shoe thrower jailed for 3 years

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Originally Posted by tony hipchest View Post
this thread isnt even about obama, so i see no sense in even bringing it up unless your (unsuccessfully) trying to "get under toneys skin".



not gonna happen.... BRAH!

No.. I know Obama could have dodged them. He even would have had enough time to yell change 3 times before he even moved.
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Old 03-13-2009, 12:47 AM   #9
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Default Re: Shoe thrower jailed for 3 years

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Three years seems a little much to me. Sure, it was a scare, but a shoe wouldn't have killed him. I can't consider it a SERIOUS assualt.
Agreed, but to lend a little perspective here, this is a geographic area of the world where they stone women to death for infidelity and they hack the hands off of people for stealing.
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Old 03-13-2009, 12:51 AM   #10
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Agreed, but to lend a little perspective here, this is a geographic area of the world where they stone women to death for infidelity and they hack the hands off of people for stealing.
exactly!

dont f--- with an american president (even if it is bush).

stupid bastards.
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