A COMEDIAN has appeared in a Madrid court for blowing his nose on the Spanish flag during a TV sketch.
Spanish television host, Dani Mateo, faces serious allegations following the comic act last month on La Sexta’s satirical news show, El Intermedio.
The judge is investigating whether Mateo committed a crime of offence or public affront to Spanish symbols – an article in the country’s criminal code which is punishable with a fine.
If it is found to be a hate crime, he could be sentenced to up to four years in Spain.
It comes as Spanish actor and activist Willy Toledo faces prosecution ‘for offending religious sentiments’ after he made comments on Facebook insulting God and the Virgin Mary.
In the sketch, Mateo joked that the only text which has ‘general consensus in Spain, is the patient guidelines on a packet of [cold remedy] Frenadol’.
As he read out the instructions for the drug, the comedian pretended to sneeze and blew his nose on the Spanish flag.
“Christ, sorry! I didn’t want to offend Spaniards, nor the king, nor the Chinese who sell these rags. Not rags, I didn’t mean rags,” joked Mateo.
The comedian soon became a trending topic on Twitter where social media users slammed him for the act, causing La Sexta to pull the sketch the following day.
“As a citizen of this country, I’m worried because we are taking a clown to court for doing his job and that worries me due to the image it creates of my country and my flag,” Mateo said outside court.
The presenter chose not to make a statement, meaning the hearing lasted only 10 minutes.