Last updated: 30 September, 2012

Egyptian TV head arrested on old convictions

Television channel chief and presenter Tawfiq Okasha, who is on trial for alleged incitement to murder Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi, was arrested on Sunday for former convictions passed in absentia, judicial sources said.

Okasha was taken into custody after visiting a police station to check on the status of his court case. He was notified of two six-month convictions for issuing bad cheques and one-month terms for stealing electricity, the sources said.

At the start of his trial on September 1, Okasha denied calling for the murder of the country’s Islamist president.

“I merely criticised President Morsi,” Tawfiq Okasha told judges. “This is a political trial. The Muslim Brotherhood wants to silence all dissent and reproduce the system from before the revolution.”

Okasha’s Al-Faraeen channel, suspended on August 16, aired a show that was stridently anti-Morsi and anti-Muslim Brotherhood, the party from which the leader emanates.

The next session of his trial has been set for October 3.