Anti-Muslim film: Attorneys visit home of alleged filmmaker
Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies escorted attorneys to the home of the man believed to be the filmmaker behind the anti-Muslim movie that has sparked protests and rioting in the Arab world.
About 2:30 p.m. Friday, as media representatives were camped out in front of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula's Cerritos home, a sheriff's patrol car screeched to a halt and deputies got out. Then, a black Hyundai parked next to the deputies. Two men, a heavyset man with a mustache and a black-haired man wearing a dark suit, got out of the car.
Deputies formed a cordon to escort the men to the front door and to protect them from about 10 news cameras.
They stood in front of the door for long moments, then the door opened and the two men went inside.
Later, sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore identified the two men as attorneys.
"That's all your going to get," he said, adding that he did not know further details. Whitmore said they are attorneys, but have not been retained by Nakoula.
An attorney who identified himself as Steve Seiden left the home about 3:30 p.m. He asked the media to leave and complained that Nakoula's children are "prisoners in their own house."He declined to say whether he had been hired and what his role is.
Nakoula told the Associated Press he was a logistics manager on the "Innocence of Muslims" movie, not the director. He told a Coptic bishop Thursday that he had no role in it, the clergyman told The Times.
Nakoula is believed to use the alias Sam Bacile, which was the name a caller who took credit for the film gave to the Associated Press and Wall Street Journal.
On Friday, U.S. courts spokeswoman Karen Redmond said the Office of Probation in the Central District of California is reviewing whether Nakoula, who was convicted on bank fraud charges, violated terms of his probation.
He was ordered not to own or use devices with access to the Web without approval from his probation officer – and any approved computers were to be used for work only. "Defendant shall not access a computer for any other purpose," the terms read.
Restrictions were also placed on him enlisting others to get on the Internet for him. A spokesman for the U.S. Probation and Parole Office could not be reached Thursday about whether Nakoula may have violated those terms when the film trailer was uploaded to YouTube.
-- Bob Chamberlin and Richard Winton
Photo: An attorney is escorted to the home of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the alleged filmmaker behind the controversial "Innocence of Muslims" movie. Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times