Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Saudi businessman offers $10 million for shoe thrown at Bush

BAGHDAD, December 16 (RIA Novosti) - A Saudi businessman has offered $10 million for one of the shoes thrown by an Iraqi journalist at U.S. President George Bush in Baghdad, Saudi television reported on Tuesday.
During a press conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nour Maliki on Sunday, Muntazer al-Zaidi, a correspondent for the Cairo-based al-Baghdadiya TV channel, hurled his shoes at the U.S. president, shouting in Arabic, "This is a farewell kiss from the Iraqi people, dog." He was then overpowered by security personnel and taken away.
In Arabic culture showing the soles of shoes is considered a serious insult. Neither of the shoes, which Bush later told journalists were "a size 10" hit their target.
What happened to the footwear is unclear, although they are thought to have been seized as evidence by the Iraqi security service, or perhaps taken as a souvenir by a member of the Bush administration.
The Iraqi prime minister's press secretary, Yassin Majid, said on Tuesday that al-Zaidi could face up to 7 1/2 years in prison for assaulting the leader of a foreign country.


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