Court clears student who threw shoe at Chinese leader

British judge tells 27-year-old German student to watch his behaviour in the future

A German student who threw his shoe at Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao during a lecture a Cambridge University earlier this year has been cleared of any crime.

District Judge Ken Sheraton told Martin Jahnke on Tuesday that there was not enough evidence to convict him of a public order offence, but warned Jahnke to watch his behaviour in the future.

The 27-year-old disrupted Wen’s speech Feb. 2 when he blew a whistle, accused the Chinese leader of being a dictator, and hurled his left sneaker at him.

Like the better-known attack on president George W. Bush by an Iraqi journalist a few months earlier, the shoe missed its target.

But the incident – which came at the tail end of a three-day visit dogged by protests over Tibet and human rights issues – ruffled feathers in China.

The country’s Foreign Ministry called the act “despicable,” while Chinese Internet chat rooms were filled with patriotic messages denouncing the protester.

– The Canadian Press