YouTuber Count Dankula could face year in jail for Nazi dog video

The video above has been heavily edited to remove some content.

A YouTube star called Count Dankula could spend a year in prison if he's found guilty of a hate crime, after a video he posted was deemed anti-Semitic and saw him arrested by police.

The Scottish man behind the account, 28-year-old Markus Meechan, posted a video in April last year in which he portrayed his partner's dog as a neo-Nazi.

"My girlfriend's always ranting and raving about how cute and adorable her wee dog is, so I thought I could turn it into the least cute thing I could think of, which is a Nazi," he says in the clip.

The footage that follows is a montage showing the dog, called Buddha, watching Nazi propaganda, lifting its paw when it hears the phrase 'Sieg heil', and responding with excitement when asked whether it wants to "gas the Jews".

Mr Meechan was remanded in custody at the end of last month on suspicion of publishing offensive material online, and has since offered an apology for causing offence, claiming the video was simply a prank.

"This video was a joke to annoy my girlfriend, not to encourage anti-Semitism or encourage hatred toward Jewish people - that is a fact, and the reason this trial is happening is to dispute that fact," he said in a video posted to his account on Tuesday.

"A lot of the people turning up at this trial, are trying to say that I'm an anti-Semite, I'm trying to normalise anti-Semitism, I'm trying to normalise Nazism, and all that other stuff - when none of that, at all, is true."

However many Jews have been left incensed at the videos, with the director of the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities telling The Daily Mirror the Holocaust should not be joked about under any circumstances.

"To regard the meticulously planned and industrialised murder of six million people solely on the grounds of their ethnicity as a joke is outrageous, and for someone who does so to claim not to be racist, beggars belief," Ephraim Borowski said.

"It is a form of racism which needs to be condemned just as we would any other form of racism, just as we would condemn Islamophobia or anti-African racism."

In Tuesday's video, Mr Meechan expressed his hopelessness at getting a not guilty verdict, saying he had a strong feeling that the verdict had already been decided.

If found guilty, Mr Meechan will face a maximum sentence of 12 months' prison time.

In February the world's largest YouTube star, Pewdiepie, lost big-money contracts with Google and Disney because he produced videos that were deemed anti-Semitic.