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France

Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan granted bail in rape case

media Tariq Ramadan SIA KAMBOU / AFP/ AFP

A French court on Thursday granted bail to Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan, who has been in jail since February accused of rape by two women. The Swiss academic has been ordered to post 300,000 euros bail.

Ramadan, 56, appeared himself to appeal against a ruling last week that he must stay in jail awaiting trial, largely on the grounds that he might put pressure on the plaintiffs.

The conditions set on Thursday were that he post 300,000 euros bail, remain on French territory and hand over his passport, report to a police station once a week and abstain from all contact with the plaintiffs and some witnesses.

Ramadan, a controversial figure in France, was charged and detained on 2 February for the alleged rape of Henda Ayari and a woman known as "Christelle" in the French media.

He was suspended as a lecturer at Britain's Oxford University after the allegations were made public

In court on Thursday for his fourth appeal, Ramadan, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, claimed that his health had deteriorated in detention and that he can not longer walk normally.

He accused the plaintiffs of exploiting the #MeToo movement to attack him.

"I will remain in France and defend my honour and my innocence," he told the judges. "I would like you to make your decision from your conscience, not because my name is Tariq Ramadan and I'm demonised in this country."

In October, after an expert recovered 399 text messages between him and "Christelle", some detailing violent sexual fantasies, Ramadan changed his claim that he had had no sexual contact with the women to an assertion that they had had consensual sex.

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