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Shoe-throwing Iraqi journalist could move to Switzerland

RIA Novosti

05:45 22/09/2009 MOSCOW, September 22 (RIA Novosti) -The Iraqi journalist who was imprisoned for throwing his shoes at former U.S. president George Bush has said he would like to move to Switzerland.

Muntazer al-Zaidi, 30, an Iraqi correspondent for the Cairo-based Al-Baghdadiya TV channel, hurled his shoes at Bush during a news conference in Baghdad and shouted in Arabic: "This is a farewell kiss from the Iraqi people, dog." Bush managed to duck out of the way as each shoe flew past.

Al-Zaidi first went on trial on February 19 and was originally sentenced to a three-year prison term in March. The court described his actions as an assault on a leader of a foreign country during an official visit. He was given a "conditional discharge" for his good behavior on September 15.

"I do want to move to Switzerland, because this is a neutral country which did not support the occupation of Iraq... This is a country with great democratic traditions, an example for the whole world," he said in an interview with Switzerland's TSR channel.

Zaidi's relatives earlier dismissed media reports that the reporter sought political asylum in Switzerland.

Zaidi also said he would launch a lawsuit against Bush to try the ex-U.S. president in an international court for "war crimes committed during the occupation of Iraq."

The journalist, who claims to have been tortured in prison, arrived in Greece on September 17 for a medical examination.

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