Egypt's public prosecutor has said seven Egyptian Coptic Christians are to go on trial over the anti-Islam film, "Innocence of Muslims," that has sparked outrage in the Middle East. The defendants do not live in Egypt.
The seven people face charges of "insulting the Islamic religion, insulting the Prophet (Muhammad) and inciting sectarian strife" for their involvement in the production or distribution of "Innocence of Muslims," Egypt's public prosecutor said on Tuesday.
No date has been set for the trial of the seven people, who all reside outside of Egypt. An American pastor who has said he supports the film, Terry Jones, is also being charged.
Egypt has no authority to make the filmmakers - who include the suspected main filmmaker, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, pictured above - appear in front of the court, but they could be tried in absentia.
The film depicts the Prophet Muhammad as a womanizer and child abuser. Illustrations of any kind of the Prophet are strictly forbidden in Islam. Protests in several Muslim countries have killed at least 18 people, including four US diplomats at the US embassy in Libya.
In an unrelated case on Tuesday, a Coptic Christian living in Egypt was sentenced to six years in jail for mocking Muhammad and insulting Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi on a social networking site.
Bishoy al-Behiery was found to have posted offensive images of the prophet on Facebook, which got him three years of his sentence. Two years were added on for his insults to Morsi, and one additional year was added on because Beheiry insulted the person who brought the lawsuit over the images against him in the first place.
mz/msh (dpa, AP, AFP)