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Shoe-throwing journalist seeks Swiss home

The Iraqi journalist who launched his shoes at outgoing United States President George W. Bush is seeking political asylum in Switzerland, his lawyer has said.

This content was published on January 19, 2009 - 10:11

Mauro Poggia told the Tribune de Genève daily that he would write to the Swiss foreign ministry this week on behalf of the journalist, Muntazer al-Zaidi.

However, a younger brother in Baghdad has denied the information, saying it was "a lie".

The 29-year-old journalist for the Al-Baghadadia television channel faces up to 15 years in prison for the incident on December 14, which made him a hero in the Arab world.

"It is the farewell kiss, you dog," Zaidi shouted after his shoes sailed past the ducking US president. Bush is widely unpopular in the region for the 2003 intervention in Iraq.

The Iraqi journalist has reportedly been beaten in custody and his lawyer said he could no longer work as a journalist in Iraq "without suffering terrible pressure".

In Geneva, Zaidi could "very well work as a journalist at the United Nations," he added.

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