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Iraqi Shoe-Thrower to Go on Trial Dec. 31

By Prensa Latina,

Baghdad : The Iraqi Justice has set December 31 for the trial of the journalist who threw his shoes at US President George W. Bush amid denial of an alleged call for pardon.

Iraq´s higher Judicial Council spokesman Judge Abdul Sattar al-Berqadar pointed out that journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi will be tried in a public hearing based on article 223 of the Penal Code related to aggression against a foreign head of State during an official visit.

The Al-Baghdadia TV channel correspondent threw his shoes and called Bush dog in a press conference after which he was put in prison.

Zaidi”s actions were hailed by many in the Arab world who considered it an ideal parting gift to a deeply unpopular Bush, who ordered the 2003 invasion of Iraq that triggered years of deadly insurgency and sectarian conflict.

Al-Berqadar assured the government offered guarantees of a fair process and the Court will act with integrity and public accountability.

According to the National legislation the attack on a head of State could risk Zaidi from 5 to 15 years in prison.

The court, however, could convict him of the lesser charge of an “attempted aggression” which carries a prison term of one to five years.

Immediately after his arrest last December 14, thousand of Iraqis marched with banners and shoes in their hands demanding his immediate release, saying he was a brave patriot.

The 28 year-old Al Zaidi has criticized US military occupation and written reports expressing his rejection to Washington.