Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan charged with suspected rape by French police | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 02.02.2018
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Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan charged with suspected rape by French police

Tariq Ramadan, a prominent Islamic scholar, has been handed preliminary charges in two alleged cases of rape by women who sought his counsel. He has denied any wrongdoing and vowed to sue his accusers for slander.

French authorities have charged Swiss Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan with alleged rape, judicial officials said Friday.

Police arrested Ramadan in Paris on Wednesday as part of a preliminary investigation into the accusations he had raped two women — one in Lyon in 2009 and the other in Paris in 2012.

Friday's charges are preliminary and prompt a full investigation into the cases. Ramadan faces indictment and a trial if police find enough evidence to support the charges.

Read more: Islam scholar Tariq Ramadan 'held' in Paris over rape allegations

Wake of Weinstein

Both of the accusers came forward in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal that saw an uptick in the number of women publically speaking out about sexual abuse.

He has denied the allegations and vowed to sue both women for slander.

The 55-year-old professor of contemporary Islamic studies agreed to take a leave of absence from Oxford University in November after the allegations emerged.

Read more: France logs increase in sex crime reports following Harvey Weinstein scandal

'Campaign of lies'

Four women in Switzerland have also accused Ramadan of molesting them when they were teenagers in the 1980s and '90s. He has described the allegations as "a campaign of lies launched by my adversaries."

The case has divided Ramadan's Muslim followers, some of whom have accused his accusers of a smear campaign.

The prominent scholar is the grandson of Hasan al-Banna, the Islamic thinker who founded Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood.

amp/cmk (AP, Reuters, AFP)

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