Lawyer for controversial "Innocence of Muslims" filmmaker also asks that his client be released into general population
The man who made the anti-Islam film "The Innocence of Muslims," which has been blamed for sparking a wave of violence in the Middle East last month, denied the allegations against him in his probation violation case Wednesday at the Edward R. Roybal federal courthouse in downtown Los Angeles.
Previously identified by, among other names, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the filmmaker was identified by federal judge Christina Snyder as "Mr. Youssef," in reference to yet another alias, Mark Youssef. (During a press conference following the hearing, the filmmaker's attorney, Steven Seiden, identified his client as Mark Youssef.)
Youssef, who was forbidden from using aliases or a computer without his probation officer's permission, per his probation terms stemming from a bank fraud case, issued a simple "deny" as the judge rattled off the allegations.
Among the charges that Youssef denied: That he changed his name in 2012 to Mark Youssef; that he got a new driver's license in Dec. 2010 under the name Nakoula Basseley Nakoula without his probation officer's approval; that he falsely used the name Sam Bacile or any other variations; and that he falsely told his probation officer that he was only the writer on "The Innocence of Muslims."
During the hearing, Seiden also asked that his client be released from protective custody and placed in general population. A government representative responded that the Metropolitan Detention Center, where Youssef is being detained, should be consulted before making any changes to his care. Snyder agreed, and said she would abide by the center's decision.
During a press conference following the hearing, Seiden declined to further explain the request that Youssef should be placed in general population.
Because the allegations were denied by the defendant, an evidentiary hearing will take place Nov. 9.
Youssef was arrested in late September and ordered held without bond for allegedly violating the terms of his probation.