Iraq: Prison sentence for shoe thrower reduced
Iraq's highest court on Tuesday reduced the prison sentence for an Iraqi journalist who hurled his shoes at former President George W. Bush from three years to one, a court spokesman said.
According to the AP, Abdul-Sattar Bayrkdar, the spokesman, said the decision was taken because the journalist had no prior criminal history. The defense appealed the original ruling to the Federal Appeals Court citing an Iraqi law stipulating a maximum sentence of only two years for publicly insulting a visiting foreign leader.
A few weeks ago, Muntadhar al-Zeidi was sentenced to three years after pleading not guilty to a charge of assaulting a foreign leader. He described his action as a "natural response to the occupation."
"We think al-Zeidi does not deserve to be imprisoned even for one day," al-Zeidi's chief defense attorney, Diaa al-Saadi, told The Associated Press. "What he has done falls in the category of freedom of expression and he was trying to express his anti-occupation feelings,"
Another al-Zeidi attorney, Yahya al-Ittabi, however, welcomed the court's decision, saying it did not bow to government pressure and reflected "the independence and the integrity of the Iraqi judiciary system."