Lebanese TV host charged with defaming Saudi crown prince

BEIRUT (AP) — A leading Lebanese talk show host has been summoned to court for making a joke at the expense of Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

Lebanon's National News Agency reported Friday that a state prosecutor ordered a lawsuit against Hicham Haddad for a quip he made on his popular late-night show Lahon Wbas on the network LBC.

Reacting to a clip on a rival network advising bin Salman to swear off fast food for his health, Haddad suggested he should swear off "fast arrests, fast politics, ... fast military strikes," instead.

Haddad is the second LBC anchor to be sued in two months under laws protecting Lebanese and foreign leaders against defamation. Civil society groups warn the suits have a chilling effect on Lebanon's independent press.

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