Controversial Egyptian TV presenter Okasha arrested for fraud

Ahram Online , Sunday 30 Sep 2012

Egyptian authorities on Sunday coax contentious talk-show host Tawfiq Okasha into coming to Nasr City Police Station where he is surprised to find himself taken into custody

Last September, Tawfiq Okasha, the popular Egyptian TV presenter was accused of inciting the killing of the country's new president on air, flashes the victory sign as he arrives for the opening of his trial, in Cairo (Photo: AP)

Egyptian television presenter Tawfiq Okasha was arrested on Sunday after being slapped with five different sentences, four of which involved embezzlement charges.

According to an anonymous security source, police came to Okasha's personal residence on Sunday morning and asked him to come to Cairo's Nasr City Police Station due to fears for his personal safety, owing to complaints he had filed earlier against the Muslim Brotherhood. Upon his arrival to the police station, however, he was taken into custody.

Okasha still has the right to appeal the five sentences.

The controversial presenter has recently faced multiple accusations, mostly related to alleged insults against public figures, including Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi. He has yet to be convicted of these charges, however.

On 10 August, following complaints lodged by several lawyers and revolutionary figures, Egyptian authorities accused Okasha of calling for the violent overthrow of President Morsi.

On the same day, authorities ordered Okasha's Faraeen satellite channel to cease transmission for at least one month. The channel's activities have since been suspended. 

The recent order for Okasha's arrest came on the heels of a lawsuit filed by the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), which has accused Okasha of inciting violence against the Brotherhood and encouraging attacks on President Morsi, who hails from the Islamist movement's ranks.

Successive court hearings are currently taking place, with the last one adjourned to 3 October.

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