- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 21, 2018

A Scottish YouTuber who goes by the name Count Dankula could be facing jail time after he was convicted Tuesday of committing a hate crime for purportedly teaching his dog to give Nazi salutes in a 2016 video.

Mark Meechan, 30, was arrested in April 2016 for producing a viral clip showing his girlfriend’s pet pug sitting in front of a video of Adolf Hitler and appearing to salute the Nazi dictator. Mr. Meechan later apologized to the Jewish community for the video, which he said was made to annoy his girlfriend.

Sheriff Derek O’Carroll on Tuesday found Mr. Meechan guilty of posting content that was “grossly offensive” and “anti-semitic and racist in nature,” convicting him under the U.K.’s Communications Act.

Mr. Meechan could face up to six months in prison for the offense. He will be sentenced on April 23.

English comedian Ricky Gervais came to Mr. Meechan’s defense on Twitter Tuesday, writing, “If you don’t believe in a person’s right to say things that you might find ‘grossly offensive’, then you don’t believe in Freedom of Speech.”

Jewish comedian David Baddiel also supported Mr. Meechan, writing on Twitter: “The court should seek to acquit Mr Meechan for no other reason but to show it is 2018 and not 1984.”

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