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>Man who taught dog Nazi salutes ‘should be convicted of hate crime’
>A man who recorded his girlfriend’s dog giving Nazi salutes ‘should be convicted of committing a hate crime’, a court heard. Mark Meechan, 30, filmed pug Buddha responding to statements such as ‘gas the Jews’ and ‘Sieg Heil’ in video footage posted on Youtube.
>The original video, uploaded in April 2016, had been viewed more than three million times on YouTube. Meechan, of Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, is on trial at Airdrie Sheriff Court and denies any wrong doing. He insists he made the video to annoy his girlfriend Suzanne Kelly, 29. Prosecutors allege he communicated material that would cause fear and alarm and stir up hatred on religious grounds by posting a clip which was ‘anti-semitic in nature’ to YouTube.
>He also faces an alternative charge of posting a video on social media and YouTube which was grossly offensive because it was ‘anti-semitic and racist in nature’ and the prosecution claimed it was aggravated by religious prejudice. Prosecutors asked Sheriff Derek O’Carroll to convict Meechan after branding his actions an ‘odious criminal act’.
>The depute fiscal said: ‘The video contains footage of the accused stating 23 times in total the words ‘gas the Jews’ in a comparatively short period of time. ‘He accepts he was involved in editing and producing the footage and managed to distill it down to a short period of time. ‘This is not some two and a half hour production with many shards every half hour, this is a toxic distillation of what he may call the best bits of his video.
>‘He has made very, very, sure the phrase ‘gas the Jews’ is repeated over and over and over again. ‘The phrase contains a clear threat of incitement to carry out a seriously violent act. ‘He might just as well have said ‘murder the Jews’ that is the effect of the toxic phrase ‘gas the Jews’. ‘The historical fact of what happened to millions of Jews in a way that frankly is difficult for a civilised society or people to comprehend. ‘Any reasonable person would suffer fear or alarm having heard that awful phrase uttered over and over and over again.
>He added: ‘Mr Meechan said on oath he thought the phrase “gas the Jews” was one of the most horrible phrases he could think of. ‘This was an odious criminal act that was dressed up to look like a joke.
>‘He is a highly intelligent and articulate individual, we are not dealing with some callow youth who is inexperienced with what is going on in the world. ‘The Crown contention is that the inclusion of the dog is an attempt to muddy the waters around him making, producing and posting the video. Meechan had earlier told the court he only ever intended the video to be seen by a small group of friends on his YouTube account and insisted he still found it funny. The trial continues.
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