Bush shoe-thrower wants Swiss asylum

January 19th, 2009 - 5:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Geneva, Jan 19 (DPA) An Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at US President George W. Bush wants to apply for political asylum in Switzerland, his lawyer said Monday.Muntazer al-Zaidi made headlines around the world when he hurled his shoes at Bush during a press conference in Iraq Dec 14. Such an act is considered an insult in the Arab world.

Al-Zaidi’s lawyer, Mauro Poggia, confirmed a report in the Swiss daily La Tribune that he would submit an asylum application to the Foreign Ministry in Berne this week.

The lawyer said he had been approached through the International Committee of the Red Cross by al-Zaidi’s family who feared that his life would be in danger if he were to remain in Iraq.

The 29-year-old television journalist has been in detention since the incident, which did not harm the president who was able to duck and avoid the shoes.

The lawyer said al-Zaidi had suffered injuries to his eye and ribs while in detention.

He is due to stand trial in Iraq for “aggression” and faces up to 15 years in prison, if convicted.

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