Noted Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan charged with rape in France

Tariq Ramadan delivers a speech during a French Muslim organizations meeting in Lille northern France on Feb.7 2016

Swiss academic Tariq Ramadan has been ordered to remain in custody in France and informed that he is subject to a full investigation into rape accusations, a judicial sourcehas said.

Another woman, referred to as "Christelle", accused the academic of raping and violently assaulting her in a hotel room in the south-eastern city of Lyon in 2009.

Mr Ramadan, a Swiss citizen who is the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, has denied all the accusations against him.

She said she had described the attack in her 2016 book "I Chose to be Free", but had avoided naming Ramadan to avoid legal complications.

The claims against the prominent scholar, which emerged in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal in the United States, have divided many Muslims, with his legions of fans, as well as his lawyers, saying he is the victim of a smear campaign.

One of the women, a former Salafi who has become a secularism activist, accused Ramadan of raping her in a French hotel room in 2012.

She said that he "pounced on me like a wild animal" and "kissed me really hard... then for a few seconds he choked me, I really thought I was going to die".

If convicted, he could face up to 15 years in prison for rape, and up to 20 years for raping a vulnerable person.

The woman, who has been given the pseudonym "Christelle", detailed the alleged assault in front of an investigative judge for over three hours earlier this week in Paris, Le Monde and AFP reported.

Rejecting her testimony, the scholar refused to sign the official summary of the account, sources close to the case said.

Police interviewed dozens of people close to both Ramadan and the two women, and examined email and social media exchanges between them.

Ramadan, who denies the allegations, took temporary leave in November from his post at Britain's University of Oxford.

According to an AP report, a judicial official said the Paris prosecutor's office opened a formal inquiry on Friday based on complaints against Ramadan the women filed previous year. He is also a professor of Islamic studies at the University of Oxford.

In November Ayari was taken into police protection after receiving death threats.



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