News24

Shoe-thrower seeks asylum

2009-09-21 21:43

Geneva - Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi, who threw his shoes at former US President George W Bush, said he wants political asylum in Switzerland, a Swiss channel reported on Monday.

In parts of an interview posted on the website of TSR, a French-language channel, al-Zaidi said he preferred Switzerland as it was a neutral country that "does not support the occupation of Iraq."

The journalist said he wanted to gather together Iraqis to launch a class action lawsuit against Bush and other political leaders who backed the invasion of Iraq in 2003, for "war crimes."

Al-Zaidi repeated accusations that he was abused and tortured while imprisoned for launching the shoes at Bush during his final months in office. Both shoes missed the former president.

The reporter, released last week after nine months in jail, has been hailed as a hero in many parts of the Arab world for his act.

Lawyers for al-Zaidi have previously said he might seek residency in Switzerland.