WASHINGTON (AFP) - A White House spokesman reiterated Monday it was up to Iraq to handle the journalist who threw his shoes at President George W Bush, after his brother alleged he had been tortured in custody. "He's in the hands of the Iraqi system. I don't have anything more on the shoe-thrower," spokesman Tony Fratto told reporters when asked if the White House was concerned about reports that the Iraqi journalist showed signs of having been tortured. "I think that's been explored extensively and I have nothing new for you." Earlier in Baghdad, Iraqi authorities said the 29-year-old, Muntazer al-Zaidi, would go on trial this month on charges that could carry up to 15 years behind bars. One of Zaidi's brothers, Uday, told AFP he had been able to visit him in custody for the first time on Sunday and charged that the journalist had been tortured by his captors "for 36 hours continuously" and forced to sign a statement. "He has been hit with iron rods and cables," the brother said. "There is very severe bleeding in his eye, and he has bruises on his feet and nose, and he was also tortured with electric shocks. "He was forced to sign a statement confessing to receiving money from different groups and saying that he did not throw his shoes for the honor of Iraq." Investigating judge Dhiya al-Kenani rejected the torture allegations and said "the investigation phase is over." The trial is to start Wednesday, December 31. Zaidi stands accused 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, for throwing his shoes at Bush on December 14.