‘Shoe Thrower’ gets 3 year sentence

Posted on | March 13, 2009

On Thursday 12 March 2009, Muntadar al-Zaidi, the Iraqi television journalist who threw his shoes at President Bush in December 2008, was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment at the Central Criminal Court.

The prosecution changed its request to the court and instead of assault of a foreign head of state contrary to Article 223 of the Penal Code, Law 23 of 1969, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years, Mr. Zaidi was charged with assault of an official during the execution of his duties contrary to Article 229, a crime that carries a maximum sentence of 3 years. Lawyers for Mr Zaidi had earlier argued that he be charged with under Article 227, publicly insulting a foreign Head of State which carries a maximum sentence of 2 years.

The lawyer who led Mr Zaidi’s defense team, Dhiya al-Saadi, said the decision would be appealed to the Court of Cassation.

Penal Code, Law 111 of 1969
Article 223 – (1) Any person who murders the President is punishable by death.
(2) Any person who assaults the President or attempts to do so but not to the extent of murdering him is punishable by imprisonment.
(3) The same penalties apply, according to the circumstances, if the offence is committed against a foreign Head of state while he is in Iraq or on an official visit.

Article 224 – Any person who resorts to the use of violence, menaces or any other illegal method in order to force the President or his representative to perform a duty assigned to him by law or to refrain from doing so is punishable by life imprisonment or imprisonment for a term of years.
The penalty will be imprisonment for a term of years if the act is committed against the Prime Minister or his deputy or a minister or member of the National Assembly.

Article 225 – Any person who publicly insults the President or his representative is punishable by a term of imprisonment not exceeding 7 years or by detention.

Article 226 Any person who publicly insults the National Assembly or the government or the courts or the armed forces or any other constitutional body or the public authorities or official or 1 semiofficial agencies or departments is punishable by a term of imprisonment not exceeding 7 years or detention or a fine.

Article 227 – Any person who publicly insults a foreign state or any international organization having an office in Iraq or that country’s Head of State or its representative in Iraq or its flag or national emblem when it is displayed in accordance with Iraqi law, is punishable by a period of detention not exceeding 2 years plus a fine not exceeding 200 dinars.
Legal proceedings may only be brought in respect of this offence by written permission from the Minister of Justice.

Article 228 – Any person who publishes the proceedings of the secret sessions of the National Assembly or publishes the proceedings of any public sessions of the National Assembly maliciously or inaccurately is punishable by detention or by a fine not exceeding 200 dinars.

Article 229 – Any person who insults or threatens an official or other public employee or council or official body in the execution of their duties or as a consequence of those duties is punishable by a period of detention not exceeding 2 years or by a fine not exceeding 200 dinars.
The penalty will be a period of detention not exceeding 3 years plus a fine or by one of those penalties if such insult or threat is directed at a judge or legal or administrative court or council carrying out a legal function in the execution of their duties or as a consequence of those duties.

Article 230 – Any person who assaults an official or other public employee or who makes an attack upon a council or official body during the execution of their duties or as a consequence of those duties is punishable by a period of detention not exceeding 3 years or by a fine not exceeding 300 dinars.
The penalty will be detention or a fine if injury or harm occurs as a result of that assault or while resisting such assault.
The penalty will be detention plus a fine or by one of those penalties if injury or harm is caused to a judge in the execution of his duty or as a consequence of that duty. This paragraph does not prejudice any greater penalty prescribed by law for injuring or harming.