Man fined for hate crime after filming pug's 'Nazi salutes'

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"I also found it proved that the video contained anti-Semitic, and racist material, in that it explicitly and exclusively referred to Jews, the Holocaust and the role of the Nazis in the death of six million Jews in a grossly offensive manner".

The judge presiding over the case, Sheriff Derek O'Carroll, was not to be swayed however and imposed Meechan with the hefty fine anyway.

Former far-right leader, free-speech activist and self-proclaimed Zionist, Tommy Robinson, who accompanied Meechan, said the decision made the Jewish community look bad.

The dog seen raising its paw after Mark Meechan, AKA Count Dankula, called Sieg Heil in the video.

The punishment comes some two years after the video was originally broadcast on the YouTube platform, which Meechan maintained was a joke meant to irritate his girlfriend, but the judge said was actually a "grossly offensive" communication and it was "self evident" that the joke was anti-Semitic. "'Gas the Jews' in one form or another is repeated by you 23 times within a few minutes", he added.

He said: "Honestly, I don't hate anyone, the whole goal of this was just to annoy my girlfriend".

Meechan later posted a video in which he apologized for the original dog clips, saying it was a joke and that he has no such political leanings.

The sheriff who heard the case said that although freedom of speech is important, the law "necessarily" has to limit it to some extent.

But the conviction sparked widespread concern from freedom of speech campaigners and comedians including Ricky Gervais, 56.

After the conviction in March, many public figures came to Meechan's defense, and decried the policing of free speech.

Jonathan Sacerdoti, Director of Communications at the Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: "There is nothing remotely amusing about this video".

Meechan, of Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, denied any wrongdoing insisting he had made the video to annoy his girlfriend Suzanne Kelly, 29.

"I am so sorry to the Jewish community for any offense I have caused them".

"We are grateful to the court for recognizing that shouting "Gas the Jews" over and over again is not a joke, and that claiming that something is a joke does not make it any less offensive", the group said in a statement.

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