Special report: Tension escalates in
BAGHDAD, Dec. 22
(Xinhua) -- Lawyer of an Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at U.S. President
George W. Bush said he would impugn the accusation against his client and demand
a lesser charge.
"I, as the head of team of Zaidi's lawyers, will
impugn the transfer charge which was issued by the investigating judge," Diyaa
al-Saadi, head of the Union of Iraqi Lawyers, told Xinhua.
Muntadhar al-Zaidi, reporter of Cairo-based Baghdadia
Iraqi television, threw his shoes at Bush at a news conference with the Iraqi
Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in Baghdad on Dec. 14.
Saadi said the investigating judge is accusing Zaidi
of "aggression against a foreign head of state during an official visit," an
offense that carries a prison term of between five and 15 years under Iraqi law.
"I will demand that the charge be less than that
because the act was an insult, not an aggression," Saadi said without telling
the date of the trial.
The Baghdadia channel reported Monday that its
reporter Zaidi will stand trial on Dec. 31.
"The investigation phase is over and we have started
a new phase which is to transfer the case to the Central Criminal Court, and the
trial will start on Wednesday, Dec. 31," the channel quoted investigating judge
Dhiya al-Kenani as saying.
Iraqis have taken to the streets in many cities
protesting the detention of Zaidi, whose act was deemed heroic.