A French Holocaust denier who was convicted under anti-Nazi laws and went on the run for two years was allegedly working as a private tutor in a Scottish fishing village under a false identity.
Vincent Reynouard, 53, was arrested in Anstruther, Fife on Thursday on a Trade and Co-operation Agreement warrant issued in France. The French press claimed he had been working as a private tutor while living under a false identity while in the UK.
The 53-year-old had been on the run since November 2020, after he posted a Holocaust denial video on YouTube and was handed a four-month jail term and a further six months in January 2021.
He was jailed previously in 1991, 2005 and 2015 for numerous separate offences of Holocaust denial, which has been a crime in France since 1990.
The search for Reynouard was led by France’s Central Office for the Fight against Crimes against Humanity and Hate Crimes (OCLCH). Their search 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’.
Vincent Reynouard, 53, pictured, was arrested in Anstruther, Fife on Thursday on a Trade and Co-operation Agreement warrant issued in France. The French press claimed he had been working as a private tutor while living under a false identity while in the UK
In 1991, Reynouard was sentenced for distributing leaflets denying the existence of gas chambers among high school students. He was dismissed from his position as a Maths teacher in a secondary school in Honfleur, Normandy, by the French Education Minister, after the discovery of revisionist texts on the hard disk of the computer he used.
The 53-year-old was also found giving his students statistical equations regarding the rate of mortality in Nazi concentration camps.
A court in Saverne jailed him for a year in 2005 and fined him 10,000 euros for writing a 16-page brochure entitled ‘Holocaust? Here’s what’s kept hidden from you*’ 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. In the same year, he was identified as a key member of network of propagandists ‘dedicated to the denial and distortion of the Holocaust’ in an analysis of the French far right by newspaper Liberation.
His most recent conviction was November 2020 for posting a Holocaust denial video on YouTube. The 53-year-old also has ties to Catholic fundamentalist groups that deny the Holocaust, such as Society of St. Pius X.
A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: ‘Vincent Reynouard is a despicable Holocaust denier who has repeatedly been convicted by French courts.
‘For him to have evaded justice, only to settle in the UK as a private tutor teaching children, is intolerable, which is why we worked with French Jewish organisations to secure his extradition so that he faces the consequences of his abhorrent incitement.
‘We are pleased that, after months of investigations and, along with Lord Austin, correspondence with police and the criminal justice authorities, he has now finally been caught.
‘We will continue to do everything within our power to ensure that he is extradited and serves his sentence in France.’
The 53-year-old, pictured, had been on the run since November 2020, after he posted a Holocaust denial video on YouTube and was handed a four-month jail term and a further six months in January 2021
General Jean-Philippe Reiland of the OCLCH, the arm of the French gendarmerie that specialises in hate crime and war crimes, said: ‘Vincent Reynouard was able to be arrested thanks to a huge effort of international co-operation and, in particular, thanks to our British counterparts.
‘Despite the legal difficulties that may exist, the Office (OCLCH) will not let go of the ideologues who propagate hatred, wherever they are.’
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: ‘On Thursday, 10 November, 2022, a 53-year-old man was arrested by Police Scotland officers on behalf of the French authorities.
‘He was arrested at an address in the Anstruther area of Fife on a Trade and Co-operation Agreement warrant issued in France.
‘He was expected to appear at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Thursday, 10 November 2022.’