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The Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at George W. Bush defiantly defended his actions in court on Thursday, saying he had become emotionally overwhelmed when confronted by the ex-US president.
Muntazer al-Zaidi won global fame when his footwear whizzed past Bush's head on December 14 as the then president was making a farewell visit to Iraq before leaving the White House.
His lawyers used the trial's opening arguments to assert that the remarkable protest was lawful, but the judge brought proceedings to a halt 90 minutes later, saying more information was needed about Bush's trip.
The 30-year-old journalist had told the court that he had become outraged and been unable to control his emotions when Bush, who ordered the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, started speaking.
"I saw only Bush and it was like something black in my eyes," he said from the dock, with an Iraqi flag draped across his shoulders.
"So I took the first shoe and threw it but it did not hit him. Then spontaneously I took the second shoe but it did not hit him either. I was not trying to kill the commander of the occupation forces of Iraq."
Zaidi gave a detailed account of the joint media conference, which was being beamed live across the world, where Bush was speaking alongside Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
"I came to the press conference and the US security guards asked the Iraqi journalists to go outside and they started to check us and they checked one journalist in a humiliating manner while we were on Iraqi soil," he said.