The Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at US President George W. Bush says he would do it again and that he was forced to write a letter of apology after being tortured in jail, the journalist's brother claimed Monday. Muntadhar al-Zeidi's outburst during a December 14 news conference with Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has been repeatedly broadcast worldwide, making him a symbol for opponents of the US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq. Thousands of Iraqis have rallied to demand his release. Zeidi's trial on charges of assaulting a foreign leader is to begin December 31, said Abdul-Sattar Bayrkdar, a spokesman for the Iraqi Higher Judicial Court. A conviction could bring up to two years in prison. The prime minister's office said last week that Zeidi had written a letter of apology and asked Maliki to recommend a pardon. But his brother, Uday al-Zeidi, told The Associated Press that the letter was written against the journalist's will.