French court rejects attempt by scholar Tariq Ramadan to drop rape charges

French court rejects attempt by scholar Tariq Ramadan to drop rape charges

LONDON: A French court Thursday rejected a request from Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan to drop two rape charges against him.

The Swiss academic is accused of raping two women in French hotel rooms in 2009 and 2012.

The allegations surfaced at the height of the “Me Too” movement in 2017. He was granted conditional release in November after nine months in prison while the investigation continued. 

The Paris Court of Appeals upheld Thursday a decision last summer by judges who deemed the request “premature,” France24 reported.

Ramadan, 56, was a professor at Oxford University until he was forced to take leave when the women came forward.

As well as being a scholar in his own right, Ramadan comes from a family with deep ties to radical Islam. The married father of four’s grandfather founded Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and his brother Hani was expelled from France in 2017 for his extremist views.

One of Tariq Ramadan’s accusers is a disabled woman identified in media reports as “Christelle” and the other is a feminist activist, Henda Ayari.

Ramadan, who denies the attacks, had previously claimed he had no sexual contact at all with the women. But he was forced to admit he had been lying after nearly 400 text messages between him and “Christelle” were uncovered, AFP reported.

Some of the messages detailed violent sexual fantasies. Ramadan subsequently said the sexual contact was “consensual.”

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