Geneva: Tariq Ramadan tried on appeal for rape | TV5MONDE

Geneva: Tariq Ramadan tried on appeal for rape | TV5MONDE
Geneva: Tariq Ramadan tried on appeal for rape | TV5MONDE

Swiss Islamologist Tariq Ramadan is expected in Geneva on Monday for his appeal judgment, a year after being acquitted of charges of rape and sexual coercion following a trial in a very tense atmosphere.

The trial before the Criminal Appeal and Review Chamber of the canton of Geneva is expected to last three days but a judgment is not expected immediately.

“Our client is confident and determined, even if each hearing is an ordeal, which brings back the night of horror she experienced on October 28, 2008,” the plaintiff’s lawyers, Me Robert Assaël, told AFP. and Me Véronique Fontana.

“She is waiting to be recognized as a victim and for the defendant to be found guilty of rape. There is no room for doubt in this case,” they added.

The defense did not wish to make any comments before the hearing.

This highly anticipated trial comes one month after another decision on appeal before the French courts.

On June 27, the Paris Court of Appeal must rule on his appeal against his referral to the departmental criminal court for the rape of four women between 2009 and 2016, the prosecutor general having requested the dropping of charges for three of them. between them and removed any notion of control.

“Doubt benefits the accused”

Tariq Ramadan, 61, was acquitted on May 24, 2023 of charges of rape and sexual coercion by the Geneva Criminal Court, which ruled that there was no evidence against him in this case dating back to 2008.

The Geneva prosecutor had requested three years in prison, half of which was closed.

“The doubt should benefit the accused, Tariq Ramadan must therefore be acquitted,” concluded the president of the court, arguing the absence of evidence, the contradictory testimonies, including from psychiatrists, and the “messages of love” sent by the complainant after the facts.

The court decided to compensate him for his legal fees, to the tune of 151,000 Swiss francs (approximately 152,500 euros), but rejected his request for compensation for moral harm.

He left the court surrounded by his loved ones, smiling, but without commenting. “This verdict is neither a whim nor a blow of the heart, it is a verdict inspired by reason,” declared his Swiss lawyer, Me Yaël Hayat.

Both the Geneva Public Prosecutor’s Office (prosecutor’s office) and the complainant appealed, following a trial which took place in an electric atmosphere, with screams and tears.

The complainant, who calls herself “Brigitte” to protect herself from threats, accuses him of having subjected her to brutal sexual acts accompanied by blows and insults in the room of the Geneva hotel where he was staying, at night of October 28, 2008. She filed a complaint ten years after the events.

No proof

During the trial, the two protagonists claimed to have spent the night together in this hotel room, which she left early in the morning to return home.

But Tariq Ramadan denied any sexual act, explaining that he allowed himself to be kissed before quickly ending the exchange.

In its conclusions, the court noted that the complainant’s account was “generally consistent and detailed” but considered that it was not corroborated “by any material element, such as traces of semen or blood, images video surveillance of the hotel or reports of traumatic injuries or gynecological violence”.

“There is no doubt that the complainant had a bad time during the evening”, noted the president of the court, but “the existence of this stress (…) does not make it possible to confirm the materiality of the facts denounced”.

Doctor from the University of Geneva, where he wrote a thesis on the founder of the Egyptian Islamist brotherhood of the Muslim Brotherhood who was his grandfather, Tariq Ramadan was professor of contemporary Islamic studies at the University of Oxford, UK.

The accusations of rape against him in France triggered the fall of this charismatic and contested figure of European Islam in 2017.

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