CAIRO - An Egyptian court on Saturday threw out a lawsuit calling for a popular television satirist to be banned for insulting the president and Islam, but he still faces a criminal investigation on similar charges.
Critics of the government see the cases against Bassem Youssef, who has cited US satirist Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show" as a model, as part of a crackdown on dissent. This is denied by the government of President Mohamed Morsi and its Islamist allies, the Muslim Brotherhood.
A Cairo administrative court rejected a petition brought by Mahmoud Abu el-Aineen, an Islamist lawyer, to ban Youssef's program and shut down independent television channel CBC, legal sources said.
Youssef, who rose to fame with a satirical online show after the uprising that swept the previous president, Hosni Mubarak, from power in 2011, had been released on bail on Sunday after the prosecutor-general issued a warrant for his arrest.
The prosecutor also accused Youssef of insulting Islam and undermining Morsi's standing.