Posted by Curt on 27 September, 2012 at 4:28 pm. 17 comments already!


Nikki Finke @ Deadline:

BREAKING… There is a courtroom proceeding this afternoon in the Roybal Federal Building in Downtown LA regarding what the feds are saying is the arrest of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, reputed filmmaker of the anti-Islam filmInnocence of Muslims which has sparked rioting, violence, and deaths in 30 countries in the Mideast, Europe, and Asia since 9/11. An initial appearance in USA v. Nakoula, 09-cr-00617-CAS, has been scheduled on or after 3:00 PM today. Nakoula was arrested for violating terms of his probation and is set for an initial appearance before U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder, who sentenced him in June 2009 following a bank fraud conviction. Federal officials were looking into whether Nakoula violated his probation in that case by uploading the crude film’s 14-minute trailer onto the Internet. He and his family have been in hiding since he was voluntarily interviewed by federal authorities and has since put up for sale his Cerritos home where some of the video was shot. Nakoula served 21 months in prison on 2009 federal bank fraud and aggravated identity theft charges and a $795K fine. He now could face more prison time if it is determined his involvement in the film was a violation of his probation, which barred him from either owning or using devices with access to the Web for five years without prior approval from his probation officer. Earlier, when LA County sheriffs escorted him to a police station for FBI questioning, Nakoula left his family’s Cerritos home with his head wrapped in a towel to hide his identity.

His arrest today is an apparent U.S. attempt to appease worldwide Muslims and their clerics and governments demanding for the YouTube video to be removed and its filmmaker punished. In an address on Tuesday condemning the content of the video, President Obama explained, “The strongest weapon against hateful speech is not repression, it is more speech.” This legal action is a way to preserve America’s  First Amendment principles but at the same time find a roundabout but legitimate way to punish Bakoula for the crudely made film that portrays the Muhammad as a religious fraud, womanizer and pedophile.

In most federal cases alleging probation violations, the probation officer submits a confidential report to the sentencing judge who has the option of holding a probation revocation hearing. Then Snyder can send the defendant to prison or impose additional terms of probation without jail time. But first theprobation violation has to be proven, and Steven Seiden is Nakoula’s defense attorney in this matter. Nakoula may argue that he’s being singled out on a probation technicality for exercising his right to free speech.

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