Egypt satirist Bassem Youssef freed on bail

Egypt satirist Bassem Youssef freed on bail

CAIRO - Agence France-Presse
Egypt satirist Bassem Youssef freed on bail

Egyptian satirist Youssef, surrounded by supporters, arrives at court. AFP photo

Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef was released on bail on Sunday after nearly five hours of questioning over alleged insults to President Mohamed Morsi and to religion.

Youssef was ordered to pay 15,000 Egyptian pounds (around $2,200) pending investigation into the complaints, judicial sources told AFP.

On Twitter, Youssef confirmed the bail conditions, saying they were for three lawsuits.

He said no date has yet been set for questioning into a fourth legal complaint.

Youssef criticizes Egyptian autorities

Youssef, whose weekly program Albernameg (The Show) has pushed the boundaries of local television with its merciless critique of those in power, continued to challenge the authorities even as he arrived at the prosecutor’s office. The heart surgeon turned comedian took to Twitter during his questioning, at one point saying: “The officers and the prosecution lawyers want to have their photo taken with me. Maybe that’s the reason for my summons?”

The public prosecutor on March 30 issued an arrest warrant for Youssef, following several legal complaints against him relating to the material used on the show. He is accused of offending Islam through “making fun of the prayer ritual” and of insulting Morsi by “making fun of his international standing.”

Bassem Youssef now joins the ranks of several colleagues in the media who face charges of insulting the president.