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Shoe-Throwing Iraqi Apologizes

Shoe-Throwing Iraqi Apologizes

Published December 19, 2008

The Iraqi journalist who tried to bean President Bush with his shoes is begging not to be sent to prison.

Describing his action as “an ugly act,” Muntadhar al-Zeidi, a correspondent for an Iraqi-owned television station based in Cairo, Egypt, said in a letter that he would like to be forgiven.

He could spend two years in prison for insulting a foreign leader. He has been jailed ever since being wrestled to the floor by security guards last Sunday during a news conference featuring Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

A spokesman for Maliki, Yassin Majid, told The Associated Press that al-Zeidi went on in the letter to recall an interview he conducted with the prime minister in 2005, when al-Maliki invited him into his home, saying: "Come in, it is your home too. …So I ask for your pardon, Excellency."

White House press secretary Dana Perino said Thursday that "the president harbors no hard feelings about it, and the Iraqis have a process that they'll follow… .But he did urge them not to overreact, because he was not bothered by the incident, although it's not appropriate for people to throw shoes at a press conference, at any leader."

Many  Iraqis have hailed al-Zeidi as a hero for defying a president they blame for destroying their country.

Written by From Staff & Wire Service

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