Published: 2018-01-28 12:34
Last Updated: 2018-01-28 13:44
The Lebanese comedian, Hicham Haddad, was accused of mocking the Saudi Arabian Crown Prince, Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS), during his TV show earlier in December 2017.
Mount Lebanon Public Prosecutor Ghada Aoun indicted Haddad on Thursday, upon the request of the General Prosecutor Samir Hammoud, referring the case to Lebanon's Court of Publications, according to the Lebanese newspaper, An-Nahar.
Haddad mocked MBS during his News Year’s episode of "Lahon W Bass" TV show, when Haddad advised MBS to “eat less fast food”.
Referring to the forecasts of 2018 of Michel Hayek, who predicted that doctors would force MBS to go on a diet during 2018, in an unsubtle reference to the weight of the Saudi Crown Prince.
Haddad mocked Hayek’s predictions saying: "With all that passes in the region, he advises him to eat less hamburgers? I advise him to put an end to campaigns, arrests, military strikes [on Yemen]."
However, the episode featured a Saudi journalist, who verbally attacked the Lebanese President Michel Aoun, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, and Lebanese Army Commander General Joseph Aoun, accusing them of aiding and abetting terrorism due to their ties to Hezbollah, An-Nahar wrote.
Later, Haddad defended himself on Twitter, saying: "This footage was intended to make a mockery of Michel Hayek's predictions.”
In Lebanon, reactions condemned the lawsuit widely, including the Former Minister, Wi'am Wahhab’s tweet, who said: "I advise the Attorney General not to venture by prosecuting Hicham Haddad if he can not do the same against those who insult Syria and the other brother countries.”
His indictment sparked a wide outrage on social media among Lebanese, as it came in the wake of a similar incident with political TV host Marcel Ghanem.
Ghanem, who was summoned for questioning on January 4, 2018, had hosted two political analysts criticizing the performance of President Michel Aoun and other Lebanese officials, during his Kalam El Nass episode in November.