Bush's shoe attacker asks for pardon

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at President George Bush has asked for a pardon.

A government spokesman said Muntadhar al-Zeidi had written to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki describing his behaviour as "an ugly act".

In the letter he recalls the kindness the prime minister once showed him during an interview in 2005 and asked for kindness once again.

Mr Al-Zeidi is a correspondent for an Iraqi-owned television station based in Cairo. He could face two years jail for insulting a foreign leader.

"It is too late to now to regret the big and ugly act that I perpetrated," Mr al-Zeidi wrote.

Mr Al-Maliki was standing next to Mr Bush at the Sunday news conference where the journalist threw his shoes.

When Mr Al-Zeidi threw the shoes, he shouted at Bush in Arabic, "This is your farewell kiss, you dog! This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq."

He was tackled to the ground by Iraqi and US security after throwing his shoes at Mr Bush, who deftly ducked.

An investigative judge visited Mr al-Zeidi in his jail cell earlier this week and the family was told to return to court next week, according to the journalist's brother, Dhargham al-Zeidi.

He claimed his brother was severely beaten after being taken into custody.

However, Iraqi officials and another brother have denied that the journalist suffered severe injuries.

Thousands took to the streets in Iraq to protest at his arrest, and his actions were heralded across the Arab world as news stations repeatedly showed footage of the shoe-throwing incident.