December 30th, 2008
06:20 AM ET
5 years ago

Trial of Iraqi shoe thrower delayed

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki tried to block one of the shoes thrown at President Bush earlier this month during Bush's visit to Baghdad.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki tried to block one of the shoes thrown at President Bush earlier this month during Bush's visit to Baghdad.

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) - The trial of an Iraqi journalist charged with throwing his shoes at U.S. President George Bush has been postponed, Iraq's Council of Ministers and one of the journalist's lawyers said Tuesday.

Watch: Michael Ware reports on Bush shoe-throwing incident

Muntadhir Al-Zaidi was due to go on trial Wednesday, but the Criminal Court postponed it pending an appeal filed by his lawyers with the Federal Court of Appeal, a spokesman for the Supreme Judicial Council, Abdul Sattar Bayrakdar, said.

Dhiya al-Saadi, who leads Al-Zaidi's 25-member legal team, confirmed the postponement.

Al-Zaidi threw both of his shoes at Bush two weeks ago during a news conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in Baghdad. Neither shoe hit the president, and others in the room quickly knocked Al-Zaidi to the ground before security officials arrested him.

Many Iraqis hail Al-Zaidi, who faces a prison term if convicted, as a hero. More than 1,000 lawyers have volunteered to defend him, al-Saadi said.

The lawyers' appeal asked the Federal Court to change Al-Zaidi's case from assaulting Bush to insulting him. If Al-Zaidi is convicted of the former, he faces a maximum of 15 years in prison, al-Saadi said.

The lawyers are trying to persuade the appeals court that Al-Zaidi did not want to harm Bush by throwing the shoes, but simply wanted to insult him. By tradition, throwing a shoe is the most insulting act in the Arab world.

Al-Saadi said he met with his client several days ago but was having difficulty meeting with him again. He did not give the reason he was not allowed to see Al-Zaidi but said many lawyers have trouble meeting with detainees in Iraqi or U.S. custody.

It will take at least two weeks for the court to set a new date for Al-Zaidi's trial, legal expert Tariz Harab said.

–CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq contributed to this report.


Filed under: Iraq • President George W. Bush
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. The Next Generation

    This guy deserves a medal, not a trial! My only regret is that he didn't ricochet one of his shoes off of Bush's head.

    December 30, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  2. proudliberal-independent

    he should be given a medal.

    December 30, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  3. Mari

    The man should go free. He was expressing his angst towards a man whom invaded his Nation!

    Bush is the criminal not the shoe thrower!

    December 30, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  4. Pat

    Amen, Kevin!

    December 30, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  5. Linda

    Bush deserved the insult. He is a bully and a fool. You can bet no one will be throwing shoes at Obama. Why? Because the reign of insanity will finally be over!

    December 30, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  6. KLM

    He deserves a medal for this. He threw the shoe for the rest of the world!!!! He should be commended.

    December 30, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  7. Newport News, VA

    The Shoe Thrower is an American hero. If he came to the U.S. he would be greeted with open arms. He had the cahones to do what millions of people in this country have been wanting to do. The man deserves a medal.

    December 30, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  8. Richard Rohde

    He can always do his own internal investigation like Obama and clear himself.

    December 30, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  9. Pat

    CanIcallyouJoe December 30th, 2008 9:49 am ET
    This man deserves a medal.
    ________________________

    And YOU deserve a shoe that didn't miss!!!!!!!!

    December 30, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  10. RealityKing

    Its nice to see democracy at work in Iraq. And to think that it cost less than what we are about to spend on roads next year..

    December 30, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  11. Humored in Texas

    George Steinbrenner offered the shoe thrower an 8-year, $120 million contract to pitch for the Yankees!!!

    December 30, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  12. Humored in Texas

    Personal to Richard Rohde:

    You need to listen to something other than Lush Rumballs!!!

    December 30, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  13. James

    Two shoes vs. millions of Iraqi scapegoats dead. Iraqis! when 14 of the hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, one was from Egypt, one from Lebanon, and two were from the UAE. A war in Iraq makes ZERO sense. One million Iraqis are dead, who were alive under Saddam ...but you, sitting on your sofa in Middle America, with your mindless conservative filer know better than they do. Meanwhile Osama is still at large.

    I'd say "Keep it in perspective," but you're clearly having too much fun judging everyone according to your bankrupt, idiotic ideas. Never let an ounce of common sense through your conservative filter, while you're ruining multiple nations... including your own.

    The shoe-thrower is a hero.

    December 30, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  14. Humored in Texas

    Personal to Pat:

    And many more thousands of Iraqis got something they didn't under Saddam – dead relatives!!!

    December 30, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  15. G.R.I.T.S. - Girl Raised in the South

    The man was beaten and tortured. Hardly a poster child for Bush's democracy. Granted, under Saddam, a shoe thrower might have been executed (not that there would have been an American dignitary visiting), but I really don't think torture and beating is all that great.

    December 30, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  16. LIP

    I think his sentence should be Bush getting to throw his shoes at Al-Zaidi...tit for tat. Then we can move on to more important things.

    December 30, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  17. rice, bryan

    the look on g.w.'s face is priceless. i have to hand it to the old boy, he has pretty good reflex's. i had to record to dvd, whenever i feeling down, i have this to cheer me up.

    December 30, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  18. chuck

    BRADLEY JENKINS @ DID YOU MEAN GEORGE BUSH?

    December 30, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  19. former republican

    Release him. Give him an award. Let him take a pitching clinic. Then let him try again!

    December 30, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  20. Audrey Fryer

    I believe the man gave Bush more respect than Bush and his army gave to the President of Iraq, Saddam Hussein. None of you seemed to mind the "respect" given to the President of Iraq when they paraded him all over television and the news networks in such a shameful fashion and in his own country.

    Look beyond your own media if you really want to learn what goes on in the World.

    Audrey

    December 30, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  21. Brian - Trinidad

    This man deserves everything that he has gotten so far and will get in the future.He threw a shoe at Bush but insulted his own government and his country via this act.He should have known that this act would not have been viewed as an isolated act against Bush.

    December 30, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  22. Ajay Jain, Garland, TX, USA

    Hail to the new Democracy of Iraq!!!

    Bush deserved such a farewell shot.

    December 30, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  23. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    Newport News, VA December 30th, 2008 10:50 am ET

    The Shoe Thrower is an American hero. If he came to the U.S. he would be greeted with open arms. He had the cahones to do what millions of people in this country have been wanting to do. The man deserves a medal.

    ******************************************************************************

    If this man came to America he would not live long. If this happened to Obama you would be crying the blues and the rest of us would be pissed just as we are now. To insult the leader of this country is to insult this country. It is clear to me that you hate this country. People like you are so blinded by the media that you have no grasp of reality.
    what you would have everyone believe is that this is Ok if it happens to Bush but if this happened to Obama you would be crying hate crime. You disgust me, as dose anyone that thinks it is ok to trash something that so many have died to create and preserve.

    December 30, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  24. Fay Tx

    I personally think it was disrepectful .......Now Mr Bush you should thank God that he missed ......Now find it in your Heart to Pardon the 2 Border Patrolmen ...PLZ

    December 30, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  25. Dane

    First off, I am not a big fan of the President by any means. But reading all these comments about how this man should be given a medal makes you all look like little children. Bush may not be popular, but the throwing of a shoe at a democratically elected official from the USA should insult every REAL American. Just goes to show you how low some people will go with their anti-Bush insanity. I am in the Military and I for one am proud of the fact that I respect the office of the President and do not wish failure or any personal insult on anyone holding that office regardless of my personal views, which is more than most of you can say. By the way, I actually deploy and see combat probably more than any of you. So if anyone should not like him it would be me.

    December 30, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
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