Tue, February 10, 2009
World > Europe

Chinese premier's shoe protestor pleads not guilty

2009-02-10 12:36:09 GMT2009-02-10 20:36:09 (Beijing Time)  China Daily

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao gives a speech at Cambridge University Monday February 2, 2009. The student protester accused of throwing a shoe at Chinese Premier Wen pleaded not guilty to a public order offence Tuesday, and his case was adjourned until March 10. [Agencies]

CAMBRIDGE, England -- The student protester accused of throwing a shoe at Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in Cambridge pleaded not guilty to a public order offence Tuesday, and his case was adjourned until March 10.

Martin Jahnke, a 27-year-old German student at Cambridge University, spoke only to confirm his name and address, and to enter his plea at a court in the city, where the protest occurred last Monday.

Jahnke -- wearing a black suit, black slip-on shoes, and a blue shirt -- was given unconditional bail. He indicated that he understood that if he did not appear in court on March 10 he would be committing an imprisonable offence.

During the hearing, which lasted less than 10 minutes, prosecutors asked for the four-week adjournment to gather more evidence, including video footage. The hearing was attended notably by Chinese and German media.

The incident cast a shadow over Wen's visit, although Beijing insisted that it would not harm relations with Britain. Premier Wen also asked Cambridge University to forgive the student.

In a press release on the Foreign Ministry's website, Ambassador Fu Ying said: "I would like to convey the following from Premier Wen: Education is the best help for a young student. It is hoped the university will give the student an opportunity to continue his studies."

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