US & Canada

US anti-Islam filmmaker Nakoula Basseley Nakoula jailed

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula escorted from his home. September 2012
Image caption Nakoula was arrested after going into hiding amid death threats over the film

A US man behind an anti-Muslim film that led to mass protests in the Middle East has been sentenced to a year in jail for probation violations.

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula was sentenced by a judge in California after admitting four violations which stem from a 2010 conviction for fraud.

None of the charges was connected with the content of the controversial film, Innocence of Muslims.

Dozens of people died in the Middle East in protests over the film.

US District Judge Christina Snyder said Nakoula, 55, must spend 12 months in prison followed by four years of supervised release.

Prosecutors had been seeking a two-year sentence.

Internet ban

After the 2010 conviction, Nakoula had served most of a 21-month jail sentence for using more than a dozen aliases and opening about 60 bank accounts to conduct a cheque fraud scheme, prosecutors said.

The Los Angeles Times said that it was while he was in prison that he read the Koran, looking for ways to criticise Islam.

On his release he was barred from using computers or the internet for five years without approval from his probation officer.

Nakoula, who was arrested in September, also goes by the name of Sam Bacile, Nicola Bacily and Mark Basseley Yousseff and is believed to be an Egyptian-American Coptic Christian.

US authorities have said they believe Nakoula was the person behind the controversial film, but have not said whether he was the person who posted it on the internet.

Muslims around the world took to the streets in protest, outraged by the film's portrayal of the Prophet Muhammad.