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'Innocence of Muslims' Filmmaker Claims Innocence in Court
The filmmaker behind the inflammatory anti-Islam movie "Innocence of Muslims" was in court today to face allegations he violated his federal probation in a bank fraud case.
Claiming innocence, Mark Basseley Youssef, 55, who has also used the name Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, told the judge he did not use a number of aliases or provide false information to the officer who was overseeing his probation, according to City News Service. He replied "deny" to each of the eight allegations put forth to him by U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder.
The Cerritos-based Youssef had been ordered to not use aliases--and to not use the internet--as conditions of his 2011 release.
The "Innocence of Muslims" was attributed to an Israeli producer named Sam Bacile, however an investigation into Bacile's identity determined Bacile was an alias used by Youssef.
Youssef went into hiding when the short film was posted to YouTube and caused a world-wide stir. He was taken in for questioning and detained without bail. A federal magistrate judge deemed him a flight risk. In court today in Downtown Los Angeles, Youssef appeared in protective custody, a point of contention for Youssef's attorney, who asked that his client be placed in the general population. The judge denied the request.
An evidentiary hearing has been set for November 9.
Federal probation officers have recommended that Youssef be sentenced to a two-year prison term, prosecutors said.
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