A court in Baghdad has reduced the sentence of the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at former U.S. President George W. Bush from three years to one.

Muntazer al-Zaidi was jailed for a three-year term last month, a sentence his supporters and media rights groups said was too harsh.

The journalist had pleaded not guilty to charges in the December 2008 incident. He told the Baghdad court his action was a natural response, and that he did what any Iraqi would have done.

Zaidi became an overnight folk hero to many throughout the Muslim world, thousands of whom took to the streets holding aloft shoes in demonstrations of support.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.