Iraqi shoe-hurler votes in prison cell | world | Hindustan Times
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Iraqi shoe-hurler votes in prison cell

world Updated: Feb 01, 2009 10:05 IST

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The Iraqi journalist who hurled his shoes at former US president George W Bush in Baghdad has voted in secret from his prison cell in the country's provincial election, a court official said.

"Muntazer al-Zaidi voted on January 28," an official with the Central Criminal Court of Iraq told AFP.

"Nobody was allowed to ask him whom he would vote for so it would not be considered as a way of trying to influence his choice."

Police, soldiers, hospital patients and prisoners cast advance votes on Wednesday to avoid the security, logistical and electoral fraud problems which plagued the 2005 parliamentary elections.

Zaidi, 29, gained instant international fame when he threw his shoes at Bush during the US president's farewell visit to Iraq on December 14, an action considered a grave insult in the Arab world.

The journalist for the Al-Baghdadia television faces charges of "aggression against a foreign head of state during an official visit."

If convicted he faces up to 15 years in jail.

Up to 15 million people are voting today to choose provincial councils in 14 of the country's 18 provinces in the first election since 2005.