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French court rejects request to drop rape charges against Islamic scholar Ramadan

AFP archives | Tariq Ramadan

The Paris Court of Appeals on Thursday rejected Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan’s request that two rape charges against him be dropped.

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The 56-year-old Swiss academic spent nine months in custody last year on the allegations before winning conditional release in November.

Thursday’s ruling upheld a decision last summer by judges who deemed the request “premature”.

Ramadan denies charges that he raped two women in French hotel rooms, the first in Lyon in 2009 and the second in Paris in 2012. One accuser is a disabled woman identified in media reports as "Christelle" and the other is a feminist activist, Henda Ayari. After initially denying physical contact with his accusers, the scholar admitted to having consensual sex with both women.

Ramadan, a married father of four whose grandfather founded Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, was a professor at Oxford University until he was forced to take leave when the rape allegations surfaced at the height of the "Me Too" movement late last year.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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