Shoe protester 'was unreasonable'

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The Independent Online

A protester who threw a shoe at the Chinese premier Wen Jiabao during a lecture at Cambridge University behaved "unreasonably" and could have caused serious injury, a court heard.

Martin Jahnke, 27, a German studying pathology at Darwin College, Cambridge, called the Chinese leader a "dictator" and accused university bosses of "prostituting themselves" by allowing him to speak, a district judge was told.

Mr Jahnke threw his trainer towards the stage where Wen Jiabao was standing and it landed a few yards away from the Chinese Prime Minister, Cambridge magistrates' court heard. He denies using words and behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

The incident happened on 2 February when Mr Wen was on a state visit. A policeman who was guarding Mr Wen said: "If the shoe had struck the premier in the face it could have caused serious injury to his eye or to his nose." The case continues.