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Egyptian satirist released on bail

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The fast-paced show has attracted a wide viewership, while at the same time earning its fair share of detractors. Youssef has been a frequent target of lawsuits, most of them brought by Islamist lawyers who accused him of "corrupting morals" or violating "religious principles."

Youssef frequently imitates Morsi's speeches and gestures. He has fact-checked the president, and in one particularly popular episode earlier this year, he played video clips showing remarks by Morsi, made in 2010 before he became president, calling Zionists "pigs."

The remarks caused a brief diplomatic tiff with the U.S. administration, and Morsi had to issue a statement to defuse the flap.

In his last episode this week, Youssef thanked Morsi for providing him with so much material.

Youssef has also made regular jokes about comments by Islamic clerics and Islamic stations TV presenters, exposing contradictions between their comments and public speeches and what he considers the spirit of Islam.

Prosecutor Mohammed el-Sayed Khalifa was quoted on the website of the state-owned Al-Ahram daily that he has 28 plaintiffs in the case against Youssef accusing him of insulting Islam, mocking prayers, and "belittling" Morsi in the eyes of the world and his own people.

The plaintiffs are mostly regular citizens, according to Shaimaa Abul-Kheir, a representative of the New-York based Committee to Protect Journalists who was allowed to attend the interrogation.

In remarks to a TV presenter on CBC, the private station that airs his program, Youssef said on Saturday that his program does not insult Islam but aims to expose those who "distort" it.

"We don't insult religion. What we do is expose those so-called religious and Islamic stations which have offended Islam more than anyone else," he said. "If anyone is to be investigated for insulting religions, it should be all those who use Islam as a weapon and a political tool to swallow the others using religion."

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