Trial of Iraq shoe-thrower due to begin on December 31
The trial of Montazer al-Zaidi, the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at US President George W Bush, will begin on December 31, the Iraqi Criminal Court said on Monday.
Al-Zaidi, a reporter for the Cairo-based Baghdadia channel will face seven to 10 years behind bars if found guilty of "aggression against a president," according to the official spokesman for the higher judicial council, Abdel Sattar al-Bairaqdar, reported dpa.
Al-Zaidi, 28, was considered a hero for hurling his shoes at Bush during a press conference on December 14. The journalist also shouted in Arabic: "This is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, dog."
Although earlier news reports said that al-Zaidi was not harmed following his arrest, his brother Oudai said that al-Zaidi showed some signs of torture.
Oudai, who visited his brother in court on Sunday, said that Al- Zaidi lost one tooth and had been tortured by guards of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki during the first few hours of his arrest.
Al-Maliki, during a meeting with journalists, denied the torture of al-Zaidi. "We ordered (that he be provided with) food, protection and clothes, he said.