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France

French court rejects request to drop rape charges against Islamic scholar Ramadan

media Tariq Ramadan AFP archives

The Paris Court of Appeals has rejected Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan’s request for two rape charges against him to be dropped. It upheld the judges’ decision of last summer that his request was “premature”.

The 56-year old Swiss academic spent nine months in custody last year for the allegations before winning conditional release in mid-November.

His bail was set at €300,000 and he was required to hand over his passport and report to police once a week.

Thursday’s ruling upheld a decision last summer by judges who deemed his request “premature”.

Ramadan’s daughter, who runs the #justiceforTR support group, tweeted her disappointment over the appeals court decision.

Rape charges

Ramadan has always rigorously denied that he raped the two women in French hotel rooms, the first in Lyon in 2009 and the second in Paris in 2012.

One accuser is a disabled woman identified as “Christelle”, the other is feminist activist Henda Ayari.

He initially denied sexual contact with his accusers but in October 2018 was forced to admit there had been "consensual" sexual relations after an expert retrieved 399 text messages between him and “Christelle”. Some of them were explicitly sexual.

Ramadan and his supporters maintain he is not receiving a fair trial and in November he told the court he was “demonised” in France.

He has portrayed his accusers as liars and at insinuated in court that they had “exploited the #MeToo movement”.

Ramadan, whose grandfather founded Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, was a professor of contemporary Islamic studies at the University of Oxford when he was forced to take leave as the rape allegations surfaced at the height of the #MeToo movement late 2017.

(with AFP)

 
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