French conspiracy theorist hit with terror charge
France on Friday charged a far-right conspiracy theorist with a terrorist offence, the latest twist in a long-running legal saga.
Remy Daillet, once a regional leader of a centrist political party, was arrested in June after returning from years abroad.
He was initially charged over the kidnapping of an eight-year-old girl from her grandmother’s house earlier this year, allegedly organised from afar by Daillet at the mother’s request.
But a judge on Friday charged him with terrorist conspiracy, months after an investigation was opened into a shadowy group known as Honour and Nation.
Sources close to the case told AFP the group was suspected of planning a series of attacks, including the potential overthrow of the French government.
Daillet’s lawyer Jean-Christophe Basson-Larbi labelled his client a “political prisoner” who had spread only non-violent political ideas.
After the girl’s abduction, Daillet posted a video denying kidnapping, saying that his organisation “returns children kidnapped by the state to parents, at their request”.
In earlier videos, he has supported the idea of a coup d’etat and voiced opposition to taxes, vaccines, 5G and masks.
French prosecutors in April issued an international arrest warrant for Daillet, who had been living in Malaysia for several years.
He had been a regional leader of France’s centrist MoDem party before being dismissed from the party in 2010.