Egypt court sentences anti-Islam filmmaker, six others to death
A U.S.-based Egyptian filmmaker said to be behind the anti-Islam film 'Innocence of Muslims', and six other Egyptian Christians have been sentenced to death in absentia by a court in Cairo.
The low-budget film, parts of which were made available online, portrayed the Prophet Muhammad as a womanizer and pedophile.
Egypt's official news agency said the court found the defendants guilty of harming national unity, insulting and publicly attacking Islam and spreading false information - charges that carry the death sentence, CBS News reports.
Maximum sentences are common in cases tried in absentia in Egypt. Capital punishment decisions are reviewed by the country's chief religious authority, who must approve or reject the sentence. A final verdict is scheduled on Jan. 29.
The man behind the film, Mark Basseley Youssef, was among those convicted.
He was sentenced in a California court earlier this month to one year in federal prison for probation violations in an unrelated matter.
According to the report, Youssef, 55, admitted that he had used several false names in violation of his probation order and obtained a driver's license under a false name.