Page last updated at 12:42 GMT, Monday, 1 June 2009 13:42 UK

Shoe demo 'beyond lawful protest'

Martin Jahnke
Martin Jahnke is accused of harassing the Chinese Premier

A student accused of throwing a shoe at Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao at Cambridge University went beyond "lawful" protest, prosecutors have said.

Martin Jahnke, 27, a student at Darwin College, Cambridge, denied any offence.

Mr Jahnke accused the university of "prostituting" itself by allowing a "dictator" to speak, Cambridge Magistrates' Court heard.

He then threw one of his trainers which landed a few yards from the Chinese Premier, prosecutors added.

Mr Jahnke's lawyers failed in a bid to halt the trial after arguing that the Chinese government influenced the Crown Prosecution Service and police to prosecute.

Following his arrest Mr Jahnke told police his protest was "legitimate" given the "crimes" of the Chinese communist government.

Wen Jiaboa had been delivering a lecture on 2 February during a state visit to the UK.

Prosecutor Caroline Allison told the court Jahnke was sitting towards the back of the lecture theatre and disrupted the speech by blowing a whistle.

She said: "Mr Jahnke's behaviour in shouting and blowing the whistle may have started off as lawful protest but when he threw his shoe it became unreasonable behaviour and an act of aggression."

The hearing continues.



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