Iraq shoe-thrower`s release delayed until Tuesday

Muntazer al-Zaidi, the television reporter jailed for throwing his shoes in disgust at former US president George W Bush, will be released on Tuesday, a day later than expected, his family said.

Last Updated: Sep 14, 2009, 14:17 PM IST

Baghdad: Muntazer al-Zaidi, the television reporter jailed for throwing his shoes in disgust at former US president George W Bush, will be released on Tuesday, a day later than expected, his family said.
Zaidi`s brother, Durgham, was in tears today as he told reporters that the necessary legal procedures had not been completed and they would have to wait at least one more day to see him at liberty.

"He called me from the prison and said `they won`t release me today, they will free me tomorrow`," Durgham said.

Although Zaidi`s prison time is up, Iraqi inmates often see their liberty delayed for several extra days to allow the necessary prison release documents to be signed and approved.

Zaidi, 30, was initially sentenced to three years for assaulting a foreign head of state but had his jail time reduced to one year on appeal. His sentence was cut further on account of good behaviour.

The reporter`s three sisters, two brothers and many friends had gathered in central Baghdad where well-wishers carried balloons, flags, banners and portraits of the jailed reporter, seeking a glimpse of him.

Zaidi shouted "it is the farewell kiss, you dog," at Bush on December 14 last year, seconds before hurling his size-10 shoes at the man who ordered Iraq be invaded and occupied six and a half years ago.

Bureau Report