Iraq finally frees Bush shoe-throwing journalist / PHOTO

An Iraqi reporter who hurled his shoes at then U.S. President George Bush was released from prison on Tuesday.

Iraq finally frees Bush shoe-throwing journalist / PHOTO

An Iraqi reporter who hurled his shoes at then U.S. President George Bush was released from prison on Tuesday, his brother said.

Millions of people across the world saw online or TV footage of Zaidi throwing his shoes at Bush and calling him a "dog".



Most people, including in the United States, applauded his bravery.

Zaidi shouted "it is the farewell kiss, you dog," at Bush on December 14 last year, seconds before hurling his size-10s at the man who ordered Iraq be invaded and occupied six and a half years ago.



The leaders had been speaking at a joint press conference in Baghdad on what was Bush's farewell visit to Iraq prior to being succeeded in office by then president-elect Barack Obama.

Muntazer al-Zaidi was met outside the jail by parliamentarians who support his case, brother Uday al-Zaidi said.



"He left the jail a few minutes ago and now he's on his way to Baghdadiya TV," Uday said referring to the television channel where his brother worked.
An Iraqi court ordered Zaidi's release on Monday because under Iraqi law all prisoners sentenced to one year without previous convictions and who show good behaviour automatically get out after serving three quarters of it.



Zaidi was sentenced to three years in jail for "assaulting" a visiting head of state, but his sentence was later reduced to one year. He was set to be freed on Monday but at the last minute the decision got postponed by a day owing to paperwork processing delay.

Zaidi's boss has promised the previously little-known reporter a new home as a reward for loyalty and the publicity that his actions, broadcast live across the world, generated for the station.



Zaidi's actions also inspired a British student, Alex Tew, to create a "Sock and Awe" (www.sockandawe.com) shoe-throwing website, which says it has so far had almost 100 million hits in the face of ex-president Bush on the Internet.

 

 



Agencies

Last Mod: 16 Eylül 2009, 12:15
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