A court in Baghdad sentenced Muntazer Al-Zaidi, journalist with the Al-Baghdadiya TV station, to three years in jail for throwing his shoes at George W. Bush, Reuters informs. The journalist attacked the former US president during a press conference in December 2008. The maximum sentence he could have received was 15 years.

The journalist pleaded "not guilty", AP reports: "I am innocent. What I did was a natural response to the occupation" , said the defendant.

Chief defense attorney Dhia al-Saadi then demanded that the charge be dismissed, saying his client's action "was an expression of freedom and does not constitute a crime." "It was an act of throwing a shoe and not a rocket. It was meant as an insult to the occupation," the lawyer said, quoted by Associated Press.