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HindustanTimes Thu,24 Apr 2014

World

Anti-Islam film row: US filmmaker says won't return to besieged home
AP
Los Angeles, September 16, 2012
First Published: 20:58 IST(16/9/2012)
Last Updated: 09:06 IST(17/9/2012)
Protesters clash with French Gendarmerie near the US embassy in Paris during a demonstration against the anti-Islam film produced in the US. The anti-American demonstrations, sometimes fatal, have proliferated across the Muslim world after the release of excerpts from an Islamophobic film, Innocence of Muslims. AFP/Kenzo Tribouillard

A filmmaker linked to an anti-Islamic movie inflaming protests across the Middle East said following an interview with law enforcement officials that would not return to his home, possibly heading into hiding, authorities said.

Nakoula Basseley, 55, was interviewed by federal probation officers for about half an hour at the station shortly after 12am in his hometown of Cerritos, California, said Steve Whitmore, spokesman for the Los Angeles County sheriff's department.

After that, deputies dropped Nakoula off at an undisclosed location.

"He is gone. We don't know where he went," Whitmore said. "He said he is not going back to his home."

Federal officials are investigating whether Nakoula, who has been convicted of financial crimes, has violated the terms of his five-year probation. If so, a judge could send him back to prison.

Nakoula went voluntarily to the station, wearing a coat, hat, scarf and glasses that concealed his appearance. His home has been besieged by media for several days.

Whitmore said Nakoula was not handcuffed and the heavy apparel was his idea.

The probation department is reviewing the case of Nakoula, who pleaded no contest to bank fraud charges in 2010 and was banned from using computers or the Internet or using false identities as part of his sentence. Whitmore did not disclose other details about the interview.

Federal authorities have identified Nakoula, a self-described Coptic Christian, as the key figure behind a anti-Islam film that ignited mob violence against US embassies across the Middle East.


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