Egyptian actor wins appeal in anti–Islam case

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An Egyptian appeals court has quashed the conviction of the Arab world’s most famous comic actor, Adel Imam, on a charge of insulting Islam in his films and plays, rejecting a case brought by a lawyer with Islamist affiliations.

Imam, 72, has frequently poked fun at figures of authority and politicians of all stripes, making him the target of several court actions during a four-decade career. His more serious films dealt with the rise of Islamist militancy.

He did not appear in court yesterday to defend himself against the latest accusations, made by lawyer Asran Mansour.

Mr Mansour accused Imam of offending Islam and its symbols by poking fun at beards and the galabiya, a loose-fitting garment often worn by hardline Islamists.

A judge found Imam guilty in February. The court overturned the first verdict yesterday.