Iraqi shoe-thrower trial adjourned until Mar 12 | world | Hindustan Times
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Iraqi shoe-thrower trial adjourned until Mar 12

world Updated: Feb 20, 2009 04:53 IST

The Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at US former president George W Bush had his trial adjourned on only hours after it opened amid high security in Baghdad.

Muntazer al-Zaidi won global fame when his footwear whizzed past Bush's head on December 14 as the then president was making a farewell visit to Iraq before leaving the White House.

His lawyers used the trial's opening arguments to assert that the remarkable protest was lawful, but the judge brought proceedings to a halt within hours, saying that more information was needed about Bush's trip.

"We have postponed the trial so that we can contact the prime minister's office to find out if the visit of the ex-American president Bush was an official visit or not," the judge said, postponing proceedings until March 12.

The reporter faces up to 15 years in prison if he is found guilty of assaulting a foreign leader, the charge levelled against him by prosecutors for the dramatic gesture that was hailed across the Arab world.

Zaidi was stony-faced as he arrived in the courtroom wearing an Iraqi-flag tied round his neck as a scarf, khaki-coloured jacket and a black shirt. He told the court that Bush's trip was not an official visit as it had not been announced in advance, an argument that was initially rejected by the judge.