CAIRO, Nov. 28 (UPI) -- Seven expatriate Egyptians involved in making the anti-Islam film "Innocence of Muslims" were sentenced to death in absentia by the Cairo Criminal Court.
The ruling Wednesday against the seven, each a Coptic Christian, was forwarded to Cairo's grand mufti, the highest religious official of Islamic law, for his approval, the Egyptian newspaper al-Masry al-Youm reported.
The film sparked protests across the Muslim world by people who saw its depiction of Islam and the Prophet Muhammad as offensive.
Prosecutors accused the defendants -- alleged producer Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, Washington-based National American Coptic Assembly founder Maurice Sadeq Girgis Adbel Sharid, Assembly representative Nabil Adib Bassada, physician Fekry Adbel Masih Zoqlama, religious program presenter Morcos Azia Khalil, Phoebe Abdel Masih Paules Salib and Nader Farid Nicola -- of provoking sectarianism and blasphemy, and endangering national unity and social peace.
Five of the defendants live in the United States, one in Australia and one in Canada, the newspaper said.