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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A heckler from the Falun Gong spiritual movement who disrupted a White House appearance by Chinese President Hu Jintao was charged in federal court on Friday with harassing, intimidating or threatening a foreign official.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Washington said the misdemeanor charge carries a penalty of up to six months in jail.

The woman, who entered the White House grounds as a reporter, interrupted a formal arrival ceremony between Hu and President George W. Bush on Thursday and shouted: “President Hu, your days are numbered. President Bush, make him stop persecuting Falun Gong.”

The embarrassing episode marred the South Lawn event and created a diplomatic stir. Bush personally apologized to Hu for the incident.

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