Californian man behind the Innocence
of Muslims online
movie that triggered violence in the Middle East was sentenced to
death on Wednesday in absentia in an Egyptian court.
Basseley Youssef was among the seven Egyptian Coptic Christians and a
Florida-based American pastor sentenced on charges linked to the
low-budget, anti-Islam film.
case was seen as largely symbolic because the defendants, most of
whom live in the United States, are all outside Egypt and unlikely to
ever serve the sentences.
charges were brought in September during a wave of public outrage in
Egypt over the amateur film, which was produced by Youssef, who lived
in Cerritos, California.
of Muslims were
posted online, and the movie portrays the Prophet Muhammad as a fraud
official news agency said the court found the defendants guilty of
harming national unity, insulting and publicly attacking Islam and
spreading false information — charges that carry the death
who also used the alias Nakoula Basseley Nikoula, among other names,
was sentenced in a Californian court this month to one year in
federal prison for probation violations on a bank-fraud case.
55, admitted he had used several false names in violation of his
probation order and obtained a driver's licence under a false name.