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World Briefing / Iraq

Shoe thrower will go free early

August 30, 2009|TIMES WIRE REPORTS

An Iraqi journalist imprisoned for hurling his shoes at former President George W. Bush will be released next month after his sentence was reduced for good behavior, his lawyer said.

Muntather Zaidi's act of protest during Bush's last visit to Iraq as president turned the 30-year-old reporter into a folk hero across the Arab world.

He has been in custody since the Dec. 14 outburst, which occurred as Bush was holding a news conference with Prime Minister Nouri Maliki.

Zaidi was initially sentenced to three years in prison after pleading not guilty to assaulting a foreign leader. The court reduced it to one year because the journalist had no prior criminal history.

Defense attorney Karim Shujairi said Zaidi will be released Sept. 14, three months early.

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