A convicted Holocaust denier detained in Scotland after allegedly spending two years on the run “does not consent” to being extradited back to France.
A lawyer acting for Vincent Reynouard, 53, told Sheriff Norman McFadyen on Thursday that his client didn’t want to be sent back to his homeland.
Solicitor Paul Dunne told Edinburgh Sheriff Court that his client would contest the extradition request.
During a short hearing, Mr Dunne said: “I represent Vincent Reynouard. He does not consent to his extradition to France.”
The private tutor was apprehended in Anstruther, Fife, on November 10 on a Trade and Co-operation Agreement warrant.
He is wanted in France as the authorities there believe he is guilty of denying the Holocaust took place. The act of holocaust denial is an offence in France.
Reports say Reynouard was using a false identity while working as a private tutor after evading French authorities for two years before being arrested.
His arrest came after a two-year search for his whereabouts led by France’s Central Office for the Fight against Crimes against Humanity and Hate Crimes.
The investigation began after the memorial of Oradour-sur-Glane, where Nazi troops killed and destroyed an entire village in June of 1944, was vandalised by graffiti which read “Reynouard is right”.
Reynouard was first convicted of holocaust denial in 1991. He was detained after handing out leaflets denying the existence of gas chambers among high school pupils.
In 1997, he was sacked from his job as a maths teacher at a secondary school in Honfleur, Normandy. His dismissal came after the discovery of revisionist texts on his computer hard disk.
He was also found giving his students statistical equations regarding the rate of mortality in Nazi concentration camps.
In 2005 Reynouard was sentenced to a year’s imprisonment and fined 10,000 Euros by a court for writing a 16-page brochure entitled “Holocaust? Here’s what’s kept hidden from you”.
This was sent to French tourism offices, museums and town halls.
In 2015, he was sentenced to two years in jail by a court in Normandy for denying the Holocaust in a series of Facebook posts.
His most recent conviction came in November 2020 for posting a Holocaust denial video on YouTube.
Reynouard did not appear in court on Thursday and did not observe proceedings via video link.
Mr Dunne said he had been recently instructed in the case and needed time to consider legal matters which were relevant to his case.
Mr Dunne also said there was no need to cancel a previously arranged hearing in the case for February next year. But he asked for a further procedural hearing to take place next month.
Sheriff McFadyen agreed. The case will next call on January 12, 2023.