‘Innocence of Muslims’ Filmmaker Jailed Without Bond for Violating Probation
The filmmaker of the anti-Islam film, which sparked protests across the Muslim world, was arrested on Thursday in California for allegedly violating the terms of his probation.
The 55-year-old filmmaker was accused of committing a bank fraud during the making of the film "Innocence of Muslims", violating the terms of his release from prison in 2011.
Under the conditions of his probation, Nakoula was banned to use the internet or keep aliases without the prior approval of a probation officer.
"The court has a lack of trust in the defendant at this time," said US Magistrate Judge Suzanne Segal, who refused to grant bail to Nakoula.
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Judge Segal pronounced Nakoula as a flight risk who "engaged in a lengthy pattern of deception," the news agency reported.
The Coptic Christian filmmaker faces eight charges of violation of probation, including lying about the film to probation officials.
When probation officers asked him about the video, Nakoula said that his role was limited to writing the script. He also denied using the name "Sam Bacile" in relation with the film, Assistant US attorney Robert Dugdale said according to Associated Press (AP).
Nakoula may also face new charges for which he could serve a maximum two-year prison term.
On Thursday's hearing, Nakoula told the judge that he changed his name to Mark Basseley Youssef in 2002.
His attorney Steve Seiden expressed his concern for the filmmaker's safety amid several Muslim inmates at the federal prison in Los Angeles, to which prosecutors said he would be given protective custody, the news agency reported.
The 13-minute trailer of the "Innocence of Muslims" was filmed in California and posted on YouTube, triggering strong protests across the Middle East and other Islamic nations over the past two weeks.
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