13 Mar 2009

Prison term for Iraqi shoe thrower

5:09 pm on 13 March 2009

An Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at former United States president George Bush has been has been sentenced to three years in prison.

Muntadar al-Zaidi, 30, was hailed as a hero in many parts of the Arab world after the incident last December.

He pleaded not guilty and defence lawyers asked for the charges to be dismissed. They say they will lodge an appeal.

One of his brothers fainted and his sister Ruqaiya burst into tears when the verdict was announced on Thursday.

One report says Zaidi called out "long live Iraq".

In the Middle East, hitting someone with a shoe is considered a real insult.

Mr Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq in 2003.