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Holocaust Denier Loses Appeal in Scotland and Will Be Extradited to France

A Frenchman who shared videos online in which he denied the Holocaust has been cleared for extradition back to France after failing in his last legal appeal in Scotland.

Vincent Reynouard, 54, is wanted by prosecutors in France who want to put him on trial for inciting hatred and denying the occurrence of the Holocaust.

The alleged offences include “public trivialisation of a war crime” and, “public challenge to the existence of crimes against humanity committed during the Second World War,” and are related to videos he made and shared on the internet.

Holocaust denial has been a criminal offence in France since 1990 and Reynouard has been convicted twice before.

In Nov. 2020 he was jailed for four months, and the following year, he was sent back to prison for six months.

Reynouard fled to Scotland in 2022 and was arrested in Fife in Nov. 2022 but he challenged the extradition in the Scottish courts.

In Oct. 2023, a judge at Edinburgh Sheriff’s Court ruled he could be sent back to France.

But Reynouard’s lawyers sought leave to appeal to Scotland’s most senior judge, the Lord Justice General, Lord Carloway, who heard the case this week at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh.

Lord Carloway, sitting with Lord Pentland and Lord Tyre, said: “The denial of the Holocaust is a gross insult to the members of the Jewish and other communities whose members perished in Auschwitz and Birkenau.”

He said it was not just Jewish people or Holocaust survivors who were, “grossly offended by such statements.”

Lord Calloway said Mr. Reynouard held opinions which were clearly, “anti-Semitic racism.”

He said while it was an offence in France to deny the Holocaust, that in itself was not an offence in Britain.

But he said it was a breach of the Communications Act to communicate those views to the public on the internet.

At his hearing last year, Sheriff Christopher Dickson said the statements he made in the videos were “grossly offensive” and, “beyond the pale of what is tolerable in our society.”

Sheriff Dickson confirmed they amounted to offences under Scots law, and there was, therefore, no bar to extradition.

In a written ruling, he said: “I have found that the conduct set out in the accusation warrant constitutes an extradition offence; there are no bars to extradition; the respondent’s extradition would be compatible with the convention rights within the meaning of the Human Rights Act 1998; and the respondent’s extradition would not be disproportionate. In such circumstances, I order the respondent to be extradited to France.”

The most infamous Holocaust denial case in British history was that of historian David Irving.

In 2000, after a lengthy trial, he lost a libel case against the author of a book which accused him of denying the Holocaust.

Mr. Irving had claimed Professor Deborah Lipstadt’s book, “Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory,” was libellous and untrue.

He said the book ruined his reputation and led to him receiving death threats.

In 2006 Mr. Irving was jailed for three years in Austria for denying the Holocaust.

After pleading guilty, Irving said, “I made a mistake when I said there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz.”

Mr. Irving is now 85.

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