Iraq's Central Criminal Court decided yesterday to postpone the trial of an Iraqi journalist who won global fame for throwing his shoes at U.S. President George W. Bush, a court spokesman said.
"The postponement came after Zaidi's lawyers presented an appeal to a higher court," Abdel Sattar Beyraqdar said.
"The Supreme Criminal Court decided to postpone the trial of journalist Muntazer al-Zaidi until the higher court issues its decision," he said, adding that a new trial date would be set later.
The 29-year-old journalist for the Al-Baghdadia television channel had been due to appear in court this Wednesday on charges of "aggression against a foreign head of state during an official visit."
He faces up to 15 years in jail if convicted.
Zaidi's lawyer, Dhiya al-Saadi, said that he had requested that the trial be canceled because his client's actions fell within his constitutional rights to express himself freely.
"Our appeal is based on the fact that Zaidi simply expressed his rejection of the occupation and the policy of repression against Iraqis. Zaidi's action falls within the framework of freedom of expression," his lawyer said earlier this week.
"If the court rejects our request for cancellation, the defense will appeal to a higher court," Saadi said.
Zaidi threw his shoes at Bush during the U.S. president's farewell visit to Iraq on Dec. 14, an action considered a grave insult in the Arab world.