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    Innocence of Muslims Filmmaker Mark Basseley Youssef Sentenced to Death in Absentia in Egypt

    Nakoula Basseley Nakoula Bret Hartman / Reuters

    In a not-so-shocking development, the man behind Innocence of Muslims has been found guilty of insulting Islam.

    Mark Basseley Youssef, the Coptic Christian whose amateur film posted to Youtube stirred widespread protests in the Muslim world for its anti-Islam sentiments and portrayal of the Prophet Muhammad, has been sentenced to death in absentia in his native Egypt.

    Youssef, who has also used the names Sam Bacile or Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, was tried and convicted on Wednesday with six other Coptic Christians for participating in the low-budget 13-minute video.

    Innocence of Muslims filmmaker sentenced to a year in jail

    "The seven accused persons were convicted of insulting the Islamic religion through participating in producing and offering a movie that insults Islam and its prophet," NBC News quoted Judge Saif al-Nasr Soliman as saying.

    The 55-year-old filmmaker, who had previously emigrated to the U.S., was found guilty on charges of "intentionally committing acts to harm the unity of the country and peace of its land;" "calling to divide the country into small states on a sectarian basis and harming national unity; and "using religion to promote extremist ideas resulting in religious division and disrespect [of] heavenly religion."

    While Youssef may have avoided capital punishment in his homeland, his past has cost him his freedom in California. 

    Youssef is currently serving a one-year jail term for violating the terms of his supervised release stemming from a 2010 criminal conviction for bank fraud.

    So many court appearances

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