Muntadhar al-Zaidi, the Iraqi reporter who was arrested for throwing his shoes at former US President George W. Bush, has been released.
Iraqi reporter Muntadhar al-Zaidi shocked the world last December by hurling not one but both of his shoes in disgust at the visiting former US president, who had come to the war-torn country to say farewell.
Sitting in the third row at a press conference attended by Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, the reporter ‘jumped up’ and shouted "It is the farewell kiss, you dog."
He then threw his shoes one after the other toward Bush’s head, who was not hurt. Bush ducked and the first shoe sailed past hitting the American and Iraqi flags behind the two leaders.
While throwing the second shoe, al-Zaidi shouted, "This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq!"
Maliki tried to block the second shoe as it hurtled toward a seemingly dumb-founded Bush.
Attorney Karim al-Shujairi said Tuesday that all the necessary papers have been signed, clearing the way for his release after nine months imprisonment.
Al-Zaidi was initially sentenced to three years for assault on a foreign head of state, but had his jail time reduced to one year on appeal.
The 30-year-old television reporter has been freed early because of good behavior.
In Iraqi culture, throwing shoes at someone is a sign of contempt. Iraqis bashed the statue of Saddam with their shoes after US marines toppled it to the ground following the devastating 2003 invasion.
Baghdad citizens voiced approval over the stunning act and raked the police over the coals for the arrest sending a most obvious message to the American invaders who think of themselves as liberators.
The incident captured many Iraqis’ feelings of resentment after more than six years of bloodshed triggered by the US-led invasion in 2003.