Alleged anti-Muslim filmmaker arrested

2012-09-28 07:46

Los Angeles - The alleged filmmaker behind the video that sparked protests across Muslim countries was arrested and detained without bond on Thursday, as a US judge said she feared he would try to flee.

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the alleged director/producer of Innocence of Muslims, appeared in court in Los Angeles after being arrested for breaching the terms of his probation for a 2010 banking fraud conviction.

Prosecutor Robert Dugdale said the 55-year-old had allegedly made eight breaches, including making false statements to probation officers and using at least three different names.

Judge Suzanne Segal ruled that Nakoula, who has been hiding since protests erupted over his film, be detained without bond, saying he was a flight risk and a danger to the community.

"The court has a lack of trust in this defendant," she said.

Concerns have been raised for Nakoula's safety due to the widespread anger his alleged video has provoked among Muslims, and his hastily-arranged court appearance was held under tight security in downtown LA.

Identity theft

The hearing was closed to the public, but journalists and anyone else interested was allowed to follow proceedings via videoconference from a separate building.

Nakoula - allegedly the real identity behind the pseudonym Sam Bacile, listed as the director of Innocence of Muslims - was briefly taken into custody earlier this month for questioning by his probation officer.

He was traced to a home address in Cerritos, south of Los Angeles, after international protests erupted against the 14-minute trailer video posted online.

The film depicting the Prophet Muhammad as a thuggish deviant offended many Muslims, and sparked a wave of anti-American protests that have cost several lives and saw mobs set US missions, schools and businesses ablaze.

In February 2009, a federal indictment accused Nakoula and others of fraudulently obtaining the identities and Social Security numbers of customers at several Wells Fargo branches in California and withdrawing $860 from them.

Nakoula's court appearance came a day after an actress involved in the video, Cindy Lee Garcia, filed a second lawsuit seeking to force YouTube and Google to pull the video trailer.

Emotional distress

Garcia filed legal action in Los Angeles Superior Court last week, but a judge rejected it - and on Wednesday, she filed a new suit alleging breach of copyright in federal court in Santa Clarita, California.

The actress says she had believed to have signed up for a film called Desert Warrior set 2 000 years ago, and only realised her lines had been over-dubbed when the row with Muslim protests erupted this month.

In her initial lawsuit, Garcia alleged she has suffered severe emotional distress, financial setbacks and the "destruction of her career and reputation".

But Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Luis Lavin denied her request for a restraining order to prevent YouTube, a subsidiary of Google, from continuing to show the film clips.

The English version of the trailer, which has been withdrawn from YouTube in a number of countries, includes blatantly overdubbed parts of dialogue, and Muhammad's name seems to have been added in post-production.

Garcia said she only saw four pages of script for the two days she spent on set, and had no idea about the movie's religious content. "No one spoke of the Muslim faith, no one spoke of Muhammad. Nor would I do that," she said.

  • veldt66 - 2012-09-28 08:10

    Good news!

      squeegee.pilot - 2012-09-28 08:23

      I think he's an idiot who deserves jail, but on what grounds? Is he being arrested to appease Muslims? What about free speech? Are we going to see the arrest of all the aggressive atheists who attack any and all faith in the USA (and on this forum who attack my faith daily)? Free speech comes at a price. Obama is going to face serious flack about this from Americans.

      burningdogz - 2012-09-28 08:34

      I agree this does seem to have a bit of a funky sniff to it. That being said the charges against him has nothing to do with the film (not officially in any case) and the charges made against him by one of the actresses did fail (so in a sense he won that case). Timing is about odd though, as the whole thing erupts into a frenzy suddenly the parole officer decides to do his job . . . hmmmmmmmm.

      gerhard.kress.3 - 2012-09-28 09:19

      He has been arrested for parole violations, not for the film. To make that film is not a crime in the US and quite rightly so.

  • klasgoran.olsson - 2012-09-28 08:23

    Arrested for what??

      burningdogz - 2012-09-28 08:31

      Mr Olsson, perhaps if you read the article you would not need to ask such a silly question. "In February 2009, a federal indictment accused Nakoula and others of fraudulently obtaining the identities and Social Security numbers of customers at several Wells Fargo branches in California and withdrawing $860 from them. Prosecutor Robert Dugdale said the 55-year-old had allegedly made eight breaches, including making false statements to probation officers and using at least three different names."

      klasgoran.olsson - 2012-09-28 08:38

      @@burningdogz. I read that. But the heading of the article indicates something else, doesn´t it?

      nicholas.graan - 2012-09-28 09:25

      To appease the marauding mobs ...

  • ingrid.oberholzer - 2012-09-28 08:31

    8 South Africans and how many other people got blown up for this stupid film. I think he just wanted to stirr up trouble and of course all the Muslims fell for it. This whole debarcle was well planned and timed.

      wesley.bischoff - 2012-09-28 08:56

      If we want to live in a modern society, we cannot censor people and things that we are exposed to. It is up to the individual to decide what he/she wants to be exposed to. The bread can't be buttered on both sides. You either want a free society or not. If you want censorship, feel free to move to China

  • robbie.crouch - 2012-09-28 08:34

    Come on pull the other leg Ms Garcia... Put him in jail for his fraudulent actions yes... but the film is factual.

      Rehana Sayed - 2012-09-28 09:02

      whats so factual about it ???

      joe.mase.7 - 2012-09-30 14:13

      @Rehana - ignore herr robbie - he is a Nazi zionist - that is factual.

  • Harold Chisimba - 2012-09-28 08:43

    'Danger to public' why and how?

  • wesley.bischoff - 2012-09-28 08:53

    Is he merely telling the truth by showing how certain Muslims behave, or did he make it all up?

      wesley.bischoff - 2012-09-28 09:09

      ^ Certain Muslims... obviously they do not ALL behave like terrorists...

      joe.mase.7 - 2012-09-30 14:16

      @Wesley - What do you think? - Certain Christians - not ALL are child molesters - is this the truth; should ALL Christians be grouped together?

  • arthur.hugh - 2012-09-28 08:57

    Weird thing is that he is an Egyptian-born U.S. resident.

  • Rehana Sayed - 2012-09-28 08:58

    whats so factual about it ???? do more research then post !

  • patrickflynn73 - 2012-09-28 09:43

    whatever happened to freedom of speech. How can u arrest someone for making a movie like that. THE DA VINCI CODE and other similar movies were offensive to the Catholic Church but I don't recall the producer ever being arrested. Arrest terrorists and murderers and rapists!

      john.bucknall.1 - 2012-09-28 10:34

      What bothers me is this, Islam is supposed to be a faith of peace and love. But if you look around us all you hear is "jihad" this and "jihad" that and if you really piss them off a "fatwa" is issued against you. Hmmmm!

      yusuf.amod.5 - 2012-09-28 12:50

      Both of you have reading comprehension issues.You should stay in school and dont do drugs.The man was arrested for \probation violation\,not because of the movie.And you dont have a clue what the word \Jihad\ even means.Hhhmmmm

      joe.mase.7 - 2012-09-30 14:17

      Moral of the story - don't p' them off...

  • yusuf.amod.5 - 2012-09-28 13:54

    Haha.It is so blatantly obvious that the media is owned and managed by the zionist/atheists.The film-maker is suddenly \alleged\.But whilst they were hap hazardly assigning blame to muslims for the recent killings,the word \ alleged\ was very much absent.Their fellow zionist/atheists are usually the 1st ones to don their tin-foil hats and swallow everything hole also.

  • joe.mase.7 - 2012-09-30 14:19

    You are free to choose, but you are not free from the consequences of your choice. A Universal Paradox

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