Oxford Islamic scholar Ramadan admits to 'sex games' but denies rape

23.10.2018

Swiss academic Tariq Ramadan, a professor of Islamic studies, said on Monday he had engaged in "sex games" with two women in France who accuse him of rape, but said the "submissive-dominant" relationships were consensual.

It is the first time in the near one-year long case that the Oxford University professor, who has taken a leave of absence from the British institution, admits to having had sexual relations with the plaintiffs.

"He can finally speak freely and he's relieved," his lawyer, Emmanuel Marsigny, told reporters after Ramadan, the grandson of an Islamist thinker who founded the Muslim Brotherhood, was heard by investigators in Paris.

Ramadan faced one of the accusers, named only as "Christelle", during a 10-hour confrontation on 18 September.

The woman, an Islam convert who suffers from disabilities arising from a car accident, says Ramadan raped her in October 2009 in a hotel room in Lyon, south-eastern France.

Ramadan said he had "relations akin to sex games of the submissive-dominant kind, but always in a consensual and knowing way," his lawyer said.

"It has been one year now that Mr Ramadan's defendants have been playing tricks to save his cause. But the truth is that he lied from the beginning of this case by denying he had sexual relations and that it took one year to confess," Jonas Haddad, a lawyer for the other plaintiff, Henda Ayari, told journalists. "Will it take him another year to confess the rest?" he said.

Ramadan's lawyer said a series of text messages found in the two women's mobile phones showed the relations were consensual. He filed a request for Ramadan, in custody since he was notified of the French investigation on 2 February, to be freed.

Married with four children, Ramadan is a grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hasan al-Banna. He enjoys a substantial following among young Muslims and has challenged French restrictions on wearing veils.

He also faces a third criminal complaint for rape by a Swiss woman in Geneva.    (Reuters)

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