PARIS – A French Holocaust denier arrested in Scotland was handed over to France on Friday after losing his extradition battle, a source close to the case told AFP.
Vincent Reynouard was arrested in November 2022 in Scotland, where he had been living in a fishing village under a false identity.
The 54-year-old private tutor was wanted by authorities in France, where he had been convicted in absentia for offences related to Holocaust denial. A French warrant for his arrest cited videos posted to the internet in which he denied Nazi crimes.
Ruling on his extradition at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, Judge Christopher Dickson characterized Reynouard’s statements in the videos as “beyond the pale of what is tolerable in our society.”
Reynouard was presented to an investigating magistrate in Paris, who charged him with denial of war crimes, denial of crimes against humanity and incitement to hatred.
He was then placed under judicial supervision, according to the source, since the penalties for those offenses do not include detention.
Although British law does not criminalize Holocaust denial, the judge ruled that the charges against Reynouard — namely “public trivialization of a war crime” and “public challenge to the existence of crimes against humanity” — amounted to a breach of the Communications Act.
“In such circumstances I order the respondent to be extradited to France,” he wrote in his ruling.
Holocaust denial has been a criminal offense in France since 1990, and Reynouard has been convicted on numerous occasions.
In 2001, he was suspended from his job as a math teacher for printing and distributing Holocaust-denying pamphlets and setting homework involving counting concentration camp victims.
In 2007, while working as a chemical engineer, Reynouard was sentenced to one year in prison and fined 10,000 euros for Holocaust denial after writing a pamphlet claiming the death of six million Jews during World War II was “impossible.”
He was handed a four-month prison sentence in France in November 2020 and a further six-month term in January 2021 for a series of antisemitic posts on social media.
In August 2020, a memorial in the village of Oradour-sur-Glane, whose residents were massacred by the Nazis, was defaced with slogans including the phrase “Reynouard is right.”
He had questioned the massacre there in several videos posted online.