From the March 2009 Idaho Observer:

"Shoe thrower" gets three years

BAGHDAD—An Iraqi court sentenced television journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi to three years in prison for tossing his shoes at then-American president George W. Bush last December. Even though al-Zaidi missed and everyone knows the act was a sign of protest and not a physical attack, the court convicted him of assault on a foreign leader.

Muntadar al-Zaidi had pleaded not guilty to charges of assaulting a foreign head of state, saying his actions were "a natural response to the occupation."

Al-Zeidi’s lawyers argued that the charge was inadmissible since Bush was not on an "official visit." Their attempt to reduce the charge to insult also failed. Al-Zeidi, 30, has been in detention since he was detained by American security staff and later handed over to Iraqi security services. Al-Zeidi said that since he had been taken into custody and while awaiting trial he’s been tortured with beatings, electric shocks and other abuses.

Al-Zeidi spoke at a court hearing March 12, 2009, making his first public comments since the Dec. 15, 2008 incident made him an international hero. "(Bush) was talking and at the same time smiling icily at the (Iraqi) prime minister. He said to the prime minister that he was going to have dinner with him," al-Zeidi said. "Suddenly, I saw no one in the room but Bush. I felt the blood of innocents was running under his feet while he was smiling coldly as if he had come to write off Iraq with a farewell meal."