Scholar Ramadan faces Swiss prosecutor over rape claim

Swiss leading Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan (right) arrives with his lawyer Francois Canonica at the Court in Geneva for a hearing before Geneva’s prosecutor as part of an investigation over sexual assault November 10, 2020. — AFP pic
Swiss leading Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan (right) arrives with his lawyer Francois Canonica at the Court in Geneva for a hearing before Geneva’s prosecutor as part of an investigation over sexual assault November 10, 2020. — AFP pic

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GENEVA, Nov 10 — Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan faced prosecutors in Switzerland today over rape accusations dating back to 2008, adding to other rape claims he already faces in France.

Swiss national Ramadan, who was forced to take leave from his job as a professor at Oxford University after the French claims emerged in 2017, did not comment as he arrived at court in Geneva.

Lawyers for the complainant said prosecutors would spend all week looking at the case, and added that they wanted Ramadan to be sent for trial.

The woman, a Muslim convert who met Ramadan at a book signing, accuses him of subjecting her to sexual attacks, beatings and insults in a Geneva hotel room in October 2008.

“These hearings will confirm the reality of the horrible assaults, of a sexual and violent nature, suffered by our client,” said Robert Assael, a lawyer for the complainant.

After earlier hearings in the Swiss case conducted in France, the 58-year-old academic accused the woman of telling lies and said her testimony was contradictory.

Prosecutors have not commented on the current hearings in the case, which was filed in 2018 but was stalled because French prosecutors had barred Ramadan from leaving the country.

A father of four whose grandfather founded Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, Ramadan has been charged with five rapes in France although none have yet come to trial. — AFP

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