The Iraqi prime minister's office says the journalist who threw his shoes at U.S. President George Bush has apologized.
A spokesman for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Thursday that reporter Muntazer al-Zaidi wrote a letter in which he asked for Mr. Maliki's pardon, calling his display an "ugly act."
Relatives of Zaidi immediately cast doubt that he would write such a letter of his own accord.
The reporter has been in custody since the incident Sunday. He faces up to 15 years in prison, depending on what charges will be made against him and if he is found guilty.
Thousands of Iraqis have protested in the streets, demanding his release. Zaidi has become somewhat of a folk hero for his action against Mr. Bush, who spearheaded the invasion of Iraq.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.