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Tariq Ramadan's multiple sclerosis 'compatible with detention'

AFP file photo | Lawyers for prominent scholar Tariq Ramadan have demanded his release on medical grounds.

The prominent Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan, who is in French custody over several rape allegations, can remain in jail despite suffering from multiple sclerosis, a French medical evaluation has ruled.

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A Paris court had ordered a medical expertise after Ramadan’s lawyers revealed the previously unknown condition and complained that their client’s health had seriously deteriorated while in jail.

According to several sources quoted by AFP, the medical evaluation confirmed that Ramadan, 55, has been suffering from multiple sclerosis since 2006. However, doctors said the treatment was “not incompatible with detention”.

The prominent TV pundit and Oxford University professor, whose grandfather founded Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood movement, was placed under "provisional detention" by a French court in February over preliminary charges that he raped two women in France.

A third woman in France has since made further allegations of rape, and Swiss daily the Tribune de Genève reported this week that a Swiss woman was also pressing criminal charges against Ramadan, alleging that he raped her and held her against her will for several hours in a Geneva hotel room a decade ago.

One of European Islam’s best-known figures, Ramadan has dismissed the accusations against him as a smear campaign by his enemies and his lawyers argue there are inconsistencies in the women’s accounts.

Under French law, the order to hold a suspect in "provisional detention" can last one year and include two consecutive six-month renewals thereafter. However, a suspect's time in custody can be cut short at any time if a judge agrees detention is no longer warranted.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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