Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef released on LE15,000 bail

Ahram Online, Sunday 31 Mar 2013

Prosecutors set bail for the well-known satirist who is accused of denigrating Islam and the president

Bassem Youssef
A bodyguard secures popular Egyptian television satirist Bassem Youssef, who has come to be known as Egypt's Jon Stewart, as he enters Egypt's state prosecutors office to face accusations of insulting Islam and the country's Islamist leader in Cairo, Egypt (Photo: AP)

Prosecutors released Bassem Youssef on LE15,000 ($2,142) bail on Sunday afternoon.

Youssef said the decision to release him was based on investigations into three of the lawsuits filed against him.

"There is a forth lawsuit remaining and the time for investigations into it has not been set," Youssef said via Twitter immediately following his release.

Earlier on Sunday, the renowned TV satirist arrived at Egypt's High Court in response to an arrest warrant submitted by the country's top prosecutor.

The prosecutor-general had ordered Youssef’s arrest on Saturday after a number of complaints were made against him for allegedly insulting President Mohamed Morsi, denigrating Islam and spreading false news with the aim of disrupting public order.

Dozens of supporters of Bassem Youssef rallied outside the office of the prosecutor-general in solidarity with the one-time physician turned satirist.

Youssef hosts weekly satire show El-Bernameg (The Show) on private satellite channel CBC.

The complaints were filed by 12 people after Youssef's 1 March episode in which he mocked the president's interview with TV anchor Amr El-Leithy in February.

In January, a number of Islamist lawyers filed a separate lawsuit against Youssef for "undermining the standing of the president" during his show but the charges were dropped before the case reached court.

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