Criminal Justice

Anti-Islamic Filmmaker Jailed on Probation Violation

The California man behind the anti-Islamic video “Innocence of Muslims” has been jailed on alleged probation violations.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Nakoula Basseley Nakoula faces up to three years in prison, but that probation officials have recommended a 24-month detention.

Nakoula, whose film’s trailer on YouTube is blamed for sparking deadly protests throughout the Middle East, was ordered jailed after an “unusual” hearing in which the public was only allowed to watch proceedings through a video feed blocks from the courthouse, the Times reports.

“He engaged in a likely pattern of deception both to his probation officers and the court,” Magistrate Judge Suzanne Segal said Thursday, according to CNN.

Nakoula, also known as Sam Bacile, but whose name was legally changed to Mark Basseley Yousseff, and his family have been in hiding since protests began on Sept. 11.

Nakoula had been on supervised release since 2010 after a conviction for bank fraud. He is alleged to have lied to probation authorities about his role in producing the film.

ABC News reports that Nakoula initially told reporters he was an “Israeli Jew” and the film was financed by wealthy Jewish friends. But authorities have since been told that Nakoula is actually an Egyptian-American Coptic Christian, who made the film with his son, with finances from his wife’s family in Egypt, ABC reports.

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