US & Canada

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula held for violating probation

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Media captionThe BBC's Alistair Leithead says Nakoula Basseley Nakoula has denied using a pseudonym to post the film online

A man linked to an anti-Islam video that sparked riots across the Muslim world has been held without bail after a hearing in Los Angeles, California.

A judge said Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, was a flight risk and cited a pattern of deception when making her ruling.

Nakoula was investigated for violating probation terms after he was released from prison in 2011 for bank fraud.

He has not been detained over the contents of the inflammatory video.

Nakoula, a 55-year-old Christian originally from Egypt, allegedly produced the 14-minute trailer for the film Innocence of Muslims.

First amendment

He had been in hiding after the release of the video.

After his 2010 conviction, he was sentenced to 21 months in prison and, under the terms of his probation, he was banned from using computers or accessing the internet for five years without an officer's permission.

US Central District Chief Magistrate Judge Suzanne Segal said: "The court has a lack of trust in this defendant at this time".

Assistant Attorney Robert Dugdale said the court believed Nakoula was a flight risk.

"He has every incentive to disappear," he said.

His defence lawyer, Steven Seiden, had sought to have the hearing closed and his client released on bail.

Mr Seiden was concerned that his client would be in danger in federal prison because of Muslim inmates, but prosecutors argued Nakoula would be placed in protective custody.

Nakoula also told the court on Thursday that his name was Mark Basseley Youseff, and said he had been using that name since 2002, although his previous conviction was under the Nakoula name.

A clip from the US-made film was dubbed into Arabic, provoking widespread anger for its disrespectful portrayal of the Prophet Muhammad.

The film was made on a very low budget, with insults and offensive inferences to the Prophet Mohammad and Islam crudely dubbed on afterwards.

Earlier, the Obama administration had requested Google, the company that owns YouTube, to remove the clip. The technology firm refused, saying the film did not violate its rules.

The clip was uploaded to YouTube in July, but violence only broke out on 11 September, after Arabic TV stations broadcast it.

The clip has not broken any laws in the US, where freedom of speech is enshrined in the constitution's first amendment.

Four Americans, including US Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed in an attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya earlier this month.

Meanwhile, some of the actors in the video have come forward to say they were misled. They said had been hired to appear in a film called Desert Warriors, which did not mention Islam or the Prophet Muhammad in the script.