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Man behind 'Innocence of Muslims' due in court on probation charges

October 11, 2012 | 11:03 am


A creator of the "Innocence of Muslims" film that sparked unrest in the Middle East will next appear in court Nov. 9 for a hearing to determine whether he violated his probation for bank and credit card fraud.

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, who in 2002 legally changed his name to Mark Basseley Youssef, was read the eight counts Wednesday of violating the terms of his probation stemming from his 2010 conviction.

Nakoula faces allegations that he lied to his probation officers about using aliases and telling them that his role in the film's production was limited to writing the script. He is also accused of using aliases on court documents and possessing a driver's license under a false name.

Dressed in a white prison jumpsuit and chained and handcuffed at the waist, Nakoula replied "Deny" on Wednesday after the judge read each charge.

Prosecutors have said in court that probation officials are asking that Nakoula be returned to prison for a two-year term.

Nakoula's attorney, Steven Seiden, asked U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder to order his client moved out of protective custody and into the general population at the downtown L.A. federal lockup, where he is being held without bail. He did not give a reason for the request.

Snyder said she did not have the authority to direct the Bureau of Prisons on how he is to be housed.

A trailer for the film uploaded on YouTube outraged Muslims around the world and has become the centerpiece of a debate over the clash between free speech and hate speech. The film depicts the prophet Muhammad as a womanizer and child molester.


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-- Victoria Kim at U.S. District Court