Thursday, December 18, 2008

They must have threatened to make his and his family's life hell.

A spokesman for Iraq's prime minister says the journalist who threw his shoes at President George W. Bush has asked for a pardon.

Spokesman Yassin Majid says that in a letter sent Thursday to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki the journalist described his behavior as "an ugly act" and asked to be pardoned.

Majid says that Muntadhar al-Zeidi in the letter recalls the kindness the prime minister once showed him during an interview in 2005 and asked for al-Maliki to show him kindness once again.

Al-Zeidi, a correspondent for an Iraqi-owned television station based in Cairo, Egypt, could face two years imprisonment for insulting a foreign leader.

One of Zaidi's brothers said he had no information about him but found the idea he sent Maliki an apology unbelievable.

"This information is absolutely not true. This is a lie. Muntazer is my brother and I know him very well. He does not apologize," Udai al-Zaidi said. He added: "But if it happened, I tell you it happened under pressure."

An Egyptian man offered his 20-year-old daughter to Zaidi as a bride and shoemakers from Turkey to Lebanon have claimed the shoes he threw were made in their factories.

Zaidi was brought before an investigating judge on Tuesday and admitted "aggression against a president," a crime that could incur a 15-year sentence, judicial officials said. He could face trial soon.

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