Spanish comedian appears in court over flag gag

A SPANISH comedian has been hauled to court in Madrid over a comedy sketch which saw him blow his nose on the Spanish flag.
Dani Mateo, star of El Intermedio, a tongue-in-cheek news programme, has asked a judge for more time to prepare his defence after prosecutors surprised him by charging him with a hate crime as well as insulting the flag.
Mateo told the judge, “Your Honour, this is more important than I thought, everything is overwhelming me and I need time to prepare my defence.  I accept my right and will not testify.”
The comedian’s lawyers also filed motions to have the case heard in Alcobendas were the sketch was recorded.
As Mateo arrived at court at around 10am, he told waiting media, “it’s time to keep quiet and listen to what the judge has to say.  We were in the court of public opinion, now we are in a court of law and we should be silent and listen.”
The entertainer added, “as a citizen of this country I am worried because we are pursuing a jester for doing his job, and that worries me about the image of my country, and of my flag.”
As he left court later, Mateo was accosted by three people waving a flag at him and shouting, “Do it now if you dare.”
Previously, the comedian had explained he his sketch had meant to make fun of how seriously people took flags, but not insult anyone.
He said, “when tempers are very hot, flags become more important than people and that is dangerous.”

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