28 Sep 2012

Maker of anti-Islamic film held in jail

4:29 pm on 28 September 2012

A US federal judge has determined the man behind the anti-Islamic video that inflamed Muslims worldwide is a flight risk and has ordered he be detained.

Citing a lengthy pattern of deception, US Central District Chief Magistrate Judge Suzanne Segal said Nakoula Basseley Nakoula should be held, after officials said he violated his probation from a 2010 cheque fraud conviction.

Judge Segal said on Thursday the court has a lack of trust in Nakoula, who was arrested that day.

Authorities allege Mr Nakoula, 55, had eight probation violations, including lying to his probation officers and using aliases, AFP reports.

They say he might face new charges that carry a maximum two-year prison term. He will remain behind bars until another hearing.

After his 2010 conviction, Mr Nakoula was sentenced to 21 months in prison and was barred from using computers or the internet for five years without approval from his probation officer.

In July, a 14-minute trailer for the film Innocence of Muslims was posted on YouTube, leading to protests around the world.

Mr Nakoula, a Christian originally from Egypt, went into hiding after he was identified as the man behind the trailer, which depicts Mohammed as a womaniser, religious fraud and child molester.

In court on Thursday, Assistant US Attorney Robert Dugdale said Mr Nakoula was a flight risk, partially because of the uproar over the film.

The violence broke out in the Middle East on 11 September and has spread since, killing dozens, including US Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens.

Prosecutors said Mr Nakoula was likely to be placed in protective custody while he's in jail.