Director of anti-Islam film sent to jail for 1 year

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Mark Basseley Youssef
Los Angeles, Nov 8: The Egyptian-American director of the anti-Islam film that sparked protests round the world was yesterday sentenced to one year imprisonment for violating probation terms.

Mark Basseley Youssef aka Nakoula Basseley Nakoula was found guilty of committing cheque fraud in 2009 and handed a 21-month prison term. The court directed him not to use computers or the Internet for five years without permission.

However, federal prosecutors found that the 55-year-old Coptic Christian had lied to his probation officers and used several aliases. In Sept 2012, Assistant US Attorney Robert Dugdale charged Youssef with violating eight probation conditions.

The accused denied all the charges initially but later agreed to a plea deal. Hence, Dugdale only pressed four charges when US District Judge Christina A Snyder took up the case yesterday.

Dugdale told the court that Youssef posted a 13-minute trailer of 'Innocence of Muslims' on YouTube in Jul this year. The Middle East first witnessed violent agitations against the poorly-shot and "blasphemous" film in Sept.

Some of the actors who appeared in 'Innocence of Muslims' have complained that they were misled during its making. Their contention is that they portrayed characters which were supposed to be part of another film 'Desert Warrior'.

Actress Cindy Lee Garcia was among those who averred that the controversial references to Prophet Muhammed were dubbed in later.

Claiming that her copyright has been infringed, she even filed lawsuits against YouTube, Google Inc and Nakoula. It is noteworthy that YouTube has ignored a specific directive from the White House to take down the offensive trailer.

Dugdale said that Youssef had "betrayed" Cindy and the other actors by not revealing that he was a "recently released convicted felon."

The judge said that the accused will remain behind bars for 12 months and after that he will be constantly under supervision for the next four years.

OneIndia News 

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