2 Jan 2013

TV satirist under investigation

3:10 pm on 2 January 2013

Prosecutors in Egypt are investigating a popular political satirist, who is accused of insulting President Mohamed Morsi.

The BBC reports a formal complaint has been brought against Bassem Youssef for "undermining the standing" of President Mohamed Morsi in his television show.

Youssef rose to fame by lampooning public figures in amateur videos posted on the internet after the uprising that ended the rule of President Hosni Mubarak in February 2011.

He became a household name when his show began to be broadcast three times a week on an independent satellite station.

The BBC said he has poked fun at everyone from fellow television presenters to well-known Muslim scholars and most recently President Morsi himself

He portrayed Mr Morsi as a pharaoh and called him "Super Morsi" for holding on to executive and legislative powers

Meanwhile, the independent al-Masry al-Youm newspaper said on Tuesday that it has been accused by the president's office of "circulating false news" and is being investigated.

The paper said it related to an article in which "well-informed" sources were quoted as saying that Mr Morsi was due to visit the same hospital where Mr Mubarak is believed to be receiving treatment.

The story was subsequently updated to say that the visit had been cancelled and Mr Morsi's wife visited a relative at the hospital.

However, the paper says a reporter and editor have been summoned for questioning.