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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 21 June 2018

Rape-accused Tariq Ramadan appears before judges in Paris

Judges decided not to indict Mr Ramadan a third time, his lawyer said

Rape-accused Tariq Ramadan has been in custody in France since February 2. REUTERS
Rape-accused Tariq Ramadan has been in custody in France since February 2. REUTERS

Judges in Paris have dismissed a rape allegation made against Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan, his lawyer said.

Mr Ramadan appeared before judges for the first time in Paris on Tuesday after he was detained in February this year following allegations of rape made by two women.

Since his incarceration, a third woman accused him of raping her several times between 2013 and 2014 in France, Belgium and the UK.

Mounia Rabbouj, a former escort, alleged that Mr Ramadan raped her nine times in hotels in Paris, Roissy, Lille, London and Brussels.

Prosecutors had hoped to bring forward a third series of charges relating to Ms Rabbouj's allegations but judges dismissed the claim on Tuesday.

The married Oxford University professor told the court he had had a consensual relationship with Ms Rabbouj, his lawyer Emmanuel Marsigny said.

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"The magistrates considered, following explanations from Mr Ramadan and some documents that he was able to provide, that there was no need to investigate Mr Ramadan concerning the third woman," Mr Marsigny said.

"He explained at length to the magistrates that there had been sexual games, that there had been sexual relations as well but that they were always freely consensual."

Two other women have also accused the scholar of rape, including one Swiss woman who said he attacked her in Geneva a decade ago. A French newspaper reported that another woman in the US accused Mr Ramadan of raping her in 2013.

Mr Ramadan, who is the grandson of the founder of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, has denied the accusations from all five complainants, claiming they are part of a smear campaign by his political enemies.

Members of his family have spoken out against the scholar’s treatment. Mr Ramadan’s eldest daughter Maryam broke her silence on Monday, calling the proceedings a “media lynching”.

“I have a lot of questions about how my father’s case has been handled,” Maryam Ramadan told French newspaper Liberation.

“He has been considered guilty since the beginning.”

A high-profile figure in European Islam, the accusations, which first emerged in October, have seriously damaged Mr Ramadan’s reputation, leading him to take a leave of absence from Oxford.

Mr Ramadan has been denied bail despite his lawyers claiming he was suffering from multiple sclerosis.