Please, why is he really in jail?
Bush shoe attacker fails to appear in court after 'severe beating by Iraqi agents'
By Mail Foreign Service and Barry Wigmore
Last updated at 12:11 PM on 17th December 2008
The Iraqi journalist who hurled his shoes at George Bush's head during a press conference on Sunday has been severely beaten, his brother has claimed.
Muntadhar Al-Zeidi failed to appear in court as expected today, instead seeing an Iraqi judge from his jail cell.
His brother Durgham Zeidi alleged the reporter must have been too severely injured to appear in the courtroom.
He said the journalist suffered a broken arm and ribs after being struck by Iraqi security agents.
Bush reacts as the shoe is hurled at him in Baghdad on Sunday
Durgham was unable to say whether his brother had sustained the injuries while being overpowered during Sunday's protest against Bush's visit or while in custody later.
However his claim was contradicted by another brother.
Al-Zeidi's brother, Maitham, said he spoke with the reporter by telephone yesterday and that he sounded fit, despite Durgham's claims he was severely beaten.
'Muntadhar has a broken arm, cracked ribs, some injuries under his eye, and his leg is also hurting him,' al-Zeidi's brother Dhargham claimed. 'He was taken to the hospital today around noon.'
Dhargham said his information came from a friend who works as a security guard in the Green Zone where the shoe-throwing incident took place.
Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf also denied reports that al-Zeidi had been badly injured.
'The rumors about al-Zeidi being injured or being hurt are baseless,' Khalaf told the AP. 'You can check that when you see him in the criminal court tomorrow morning.'
Al-Zeidi has been in custody since Sunday, when he gained folk hero status across the Arab world by throwing both shoes at Bush during a news conference.
Muntadhar Al-Zeidi, left, has been beaten in custody, his brother has claimed, while White House press secretary Dana Perino, right, shows off the black eye she suffered during the attack
Bush ducked twice during the bizarre assault and was not injured.
Other journalists wrestled Al-Zeidi to the ground in the seconds after the attack.
Though Bush escaped unscathed, his White House press secretary, Dana Perino, was caught by a flying microphone during the attack and showed off her black eye at a news conference yesterday.
Despite widespread sympathy for his act across the region, Iraqi authorities sent the case to the Central Criminal Court of Iraq, which handles security and terrorism cases.
An investigative judge will review the evidence and decide whether al-Zeidi should stand trial - a process that could take months.
Iraq officials have recommended charging him with insulting a foreign leader, a charge which carries a maximum sentence of two years imprisonment or a small fine.
But investigative judges have sweeping powers under Iraqi law to amend and add charges - or even dismiss the case.
Shiite lawmaker Bahaa al-Araji said he expected al-Zeidi, who's in his late 20s, to be released on bail in the next few days while the investigative judge considers the case.
Al-Zeidi throws the shoe as journalists react around him
The head of Jordan's Bar Association, Saleh Armouti, said scores of lawyers have volunteered to help defend al-Zeidi. The association is dominated by hard-line Muslims and leftists critical of the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.
The government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who was standing beside Bush when the shoe attack occurred, issued no statement about how it planned to pursue the case.
Safely back in Washington, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said it was up to Iraqi leaders to decide whether punishment is appropriate for al-Zeidi.
The U.S. set up the Central Criminal Court after the 2003 invasion as the flagship tribunal, granting it nationwide jurisdiction specializing in terrorism cases. However, the court has been widely criticized for failing to meet international standards.
In a report released Monday, Human Rights Watch said defendants have been held for up to two years without a hearing and that defence attorneys often have little or no access to their clients or their case files before hearings.
'Iraqis who come before this court cannot expect justice,' said Joe Stork of Human Rights Watch.
Many Iraqis believe al-Zeidi was a hero for insulting an American president widely blamed for the chaos that has engulfed their country since the U.S.-led invasion of 2003.
Palestinians, one holding a shoe and a picture of President Bush, call for the release of Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi, in Gaza City. The sign on the left reads 'Thanks to Muntadhar al-Zaidi's right hand'
Offers of up to £6.5million have poured in for the shoes he threw.
The huge offer for the shoes, which are being held as prosecution evidence by an Iraqi judge, came from a Saudi millionaire as an international bidding war grew over the coveted footwear.
In another bid, Adnan Hamad, the former coach of the Iraqi national football team, was reported to have offered $100,000 (£65,000).
The row over the two-shoe protest grew as thousands of Iraqis took to the streets for a second day of demonstrations against the arrest of the protester yesterday.
Many demonstrators carried shoes mounted on sticks – a massive insult throughout the Arab world -
damn damn I was hoping that would not happen I hope they don't do worse.
Why am not surprised?
"Remember to always be yourself. Unless you suck." - Joss Whedon
"The only thing more expensive than education is ignorance." -Benjamin Franklin
This just proves that Bush was full of shit about bringing democracy to that region. This man committed no crime, nor did he do anything wrong but express his feelings and opinions.
A month and 3 days..
I Bleed Purple-Baltimore and Proud!
I was afraid the wingnuts would do something like that. How did the press bitch get a black eye and no secret service person was even scuffed in the matter. Send the reporter here - the mayor would probably proclaim it a holiday in his honor that's how much Dubya is loved around these parts. I'd stop wearing shoes in protest but it's been so damn cold lately.
as privileged as a whore...victims in demand for public show, swept out through the cracks beneath the door, holier than thou, how?
^ I agree completely!
Technically it's assault.. or attempted assault...
I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.
He should get something. no matter who it is doesnt give him rights to do it.
I think they should throw a parade for Mr Shoes
someone from the Yankees should sign him, he's got incredible aim.
Well, the whore apples sure didn't fall far from the whore tree. Sylkyn
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