Tariq Ramadan admits relationship with rape complainant
The Oxford University professor is in detention in France over several rape allegations
Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan has confessed to having a relationship with one of the five women who have accused him of rape, according to media reports.
However, lawyers for the prominent Islamic scholar, who has been detained in France since early February, insisted the relations were not as portrayed by the alleged victim.
"He knows her, he had a relationship with her, but not what she described," stated Emmanuel Marsigny, according to swissinfo.ch.
Mr Ramadan, an Oxford University professor whose grandfather founded Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood movement, was taken into custody on February 2 over charges he raped several women.
To date, five women have accused him of rape – three in France, one in America and one in Switzerland.
The latest development relates to the third woman who spoke up, a French Muslim woman known as Marie.
Mr Ramadan has denied all the claims against him and claims they are part of a campaign by his enemies to ruin his name.
The scholar maintains that he had no sexual relations of any sort with his first two complainants. However, when faced with evidence from Marie, he confessed to having a relationship with her.
The 45-year-old woman had provided investigators with screenshots of online conversations between her and Mr Ramadan. She also gave them a dress that is allegedly stained with traces of his body fluid, swissinfo.ch reported.
Mr Marsigny said that experts were conducting tests of the DNA samples.
Marie made a formal complaint at the start of March, claiming to have suffered multiple rapes in France, Brussels and London between 2013 and 2014 at the hands of the scholar.
His two initial accusers went to police in late October, both alleging that he had raped them in French hotel rooms.
In a separate development, a medical report ordered by judges involved in the case has confirmed that Mr Ramadan is suffering from multiple sclerosis, but said they he could be treated behind bars.
In February, a French court dismissed a bid by the 55-year-old to be released from detention on health grounds.
This week, medics confirmed that he has been suffering with the condition since 2006. However, according to AFP, they insisted that he can remain in detention despite the illness, provided he receives adequate medical treatment.
Mr Ramadan is in custody in Fleury-Mérogis prison, in the French district of Essonne.
Updated: April 21, 2018 11:40 AM