Aziz Shah, File, AP Photo
FILE - In this Sunday, Nov. 11, 2005 file photo, Egyptian film actor and comedian Adel Imam, right, walks with Egyptian actress Laila Elwi, left, during the Second Dubai Interational Film Festival red carpet reception, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. A judge says a well known Egyptian comedian and film star has been sentenced to three months in jail for offending Muslims. The judge confirmed Thursday that Adel Imam was convicted in-absentia of "defaming Islam." His whereabouts are unknown.

CAIRO — A judge says one of the Arab world's best known Egyptian comedians has been sentenced to three months in jail for offending Islam.

The judge confirms that Adel Imam was convicted in absentia of "defaming Islam." His whereabouts are unknown.

The state-run Ahram Online English website reports he was found guilty for a 2007 movie in which he plays a corrupt businessman and a 1998 play about an Arab dictator. Other reports said the court objected to his use of Islamic symbols.

The judge did not elaborate. He said Thursday Imam has can appeal. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief reporters.

In the 1980's, Imam was sentenced to three months in jail for defaming lawyers in a film. That ruling was later overturned.