Cambridge student cleared over Chinese PM shoe-throwing

3rd June 2009, Comments 0 comments

District Judge Ken Sheraton said there was insufficient evidence to prove that 27-year-old Martin Jahnke had behaved in a way likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

London -- A German student at Cambridge University who hurled a shoe at Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao was cleared by a British court Tuesday of committing a public order offence.

District Judge Ken Sheraton said there was insufficient evidence to prove that 27-year-old Martin Jahnke had behaved in a way likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

Jahnke was found not guilty following a two-day trial at Cambridge Magistrates' Court in eastern England.

"I am very pleased with the result," the pathology postgraduate student said afterwards in a statement read by a lawyer.

"I would like to thank all those members of the public who have supported me, including the Chinese community.

"I hope now attention can move away from me to the real issue of human rights in China."

Sheraton told Jahnke that the verdict should not be seen as an indication that the court condoned his behaviour. The judge warned Jahnke about his future conduct.

Jahnke was charged with an offence contrary to section four of the Public Order Act 1986. If found guilty, he could have faced six months in prison and a 5,000-pound (8,230-dollar, 5,780-euro) fine as a maximum sentence.

Wen did not appear at the trial and no statement from him was read out in court. A lawyer representing the Chinese Embassy sat in on proceedings.

AFP/Expatica

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