The leader of UKIP in Scotland, has slammed the judge who convicted a Scots prankster of hate crimes after releasing a viral video in which he trains his dog to Sieg Heil to the phrase "gas the Jews".

David Coburn, UKIP's Scottish MEP said the tratment of 'Nazi Dog' creator Mark Meechan said the case was a "disgrace, an embarrassment for our legal system, our nation and us as Scots and Brits" and was "more reminiscent of an authoritarian regime than a democracy".

Meechan is considering an appeal after being found guilty at Airdrie Sheriff Court of communicating a video which was deemed to be "grossly offensive".

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The YouTube clip of pug Buddha has been viewed more than three million times and was described in court as "reckless" and "extremely offensive to the Jewish community".

The 30-year-old from Coatbridge denies being anti-Semitic and insists his 'M8 Yer Dugs A Nazi' video featuring pug Buddha which has been viewed more than three million times was meant as a joke to wind up his girlfriend.

READ MORE: How 'Nazi dog' creator Mark Meechan clashed with Father Ted writer

Mr Coburn, who is leader of the Scottish UK Independence Party, said the case was about the "contempt that the State holds for basic principles that... have underpinned our democracy and our individual freedoms for centuries".

He remarked: "The most shocking thing about this, was in the judgment of the sheriff [Derek O'Carroll] overseeing the trial.

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"I would not normally criticise a member of the judiciary so strongly, but in this case, in order to protect free speech for those I represent and beyond, I am going to!

"The sheriff in his judgment said that he had taken into consideration Mr Meechan's freedom of speech, but went on to say that with freedom of speech comes great responsibility.

READ MORE: Video: Comedy stars back Scots 'Nazi dog' film maker found guilty of hate crime

"Well, the State also has a responsibility; a responsibility to administer our laws in a way that preserves our freedoms and liberties, not restrain them so that a politically correct, Orwelllian idelogy can trample over them."

He added: "Some would have viewed it as some king of Nazi pug, others would have viewed it as a bit of foolery, tasteless or not. This was lost on the Scottish authorities, who effectively criminalised Mr Meechan, under something that is arguably open to interpretation and should not even ben on the law books at all."

HeraldScotland: Mark Meechan (left) and Tommy Robinson speak to the media at Airdrie Sheriff Court for Mark Meechan trail. March 20 2018. See Centre Press story CPNAZI; A man who taught his girlfriend's pet pug to give Nazi salutes to be sentenced for the hate crime

After the verdict, the Meechan, who produces videos under the name Count Dankula, appeared on the controversial right-wing US media show Info Wars – hosted by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones – alongside English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson.

After Mr Coburn's statement, Meehan thanked him for his support saying: "Amazingly well put David, thank you so much. Free speech must be protected at all costs."

READ MORE: Free speech row as Scots 'Nazi dog' film maker found guilty of being grossly offensive online

Mr Coburn, said he would try to support Meechan over "this horrendous treatment" and "push harder for a greater respect" of freedom of speech in Scotland.

"In fact, the irony of this whole operation, is that arrest, detention, charge and conviction, for making a joke about the Nazis, is more reminiscent of an authoritarian regime than a democracy".

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He invited others who "respect freedom of speech" to join him in condemning the conviction and support Meechan in his fight.

He said he was "saddened but not surprised" that British and Scottish politicians "have been so silent" over the case.

READ MORE: Scots 'Nazi dog' row: "What is funny about talking about killing an entire race"

Meechan's case has become a cause célèbre amongst some of those who are defending free speech. Award-winning comedy writer and performer Ricky Gervais and comedian David Baddiel, who is Jewish, have both spoken in the prankster's defence.

Meechan is due to be sentenced next month.

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