Tariq Ramadan released from police custody

Ramadan told the judges that he would stay in France to defend his honour and innocence. Keystone

The Swiss Islamic scholar charged with raping two women has succeeded in obtaining a release from French police custody under certain conditions. He is reported to have left his place of detention.

This content was published on November 16, 2018 - 19:44

The news agency AFP said that he walked out Fresnes prison on Friday evening.

At a hearing on Thursday before the Paris Court of Appeal, Ramadan claimed his innocence. It was his first public appearance since his incarceration ten months ago. 

"Where will I flee to? Everything points towards my innocence (...) I will remain in France and defend my honour and innocence," he said while trying to convince the investigating chamber to grant his fourth request for release. 

The 56-year-old will have to provide a bond of €300,000, said his lawyer Emmanuel Marsigny. Ramadan, will also have to surrender his Swiss passport and will be prohibited from leaving the country and from contacting the accusers and certain witnesses. He'll have to report to the police station once a week. 

His previous request for liberty was rejected last week by the judges, who feared, among other things, "risks of pressure" on the two women whose complaints launched the case in the autumn of 2017 and led to the double charges against him on February 2. 

Swiss case

In addition to the cases in France, Ramadan is accused of having had inappropriate relations with several students whilst teaching at a Geneva-area school. The canton has called in two experts to conduct an external investigation into the allegations. The Geneva Attorney General’s Office has also opened a criminal investigation into the affair. Ramadan denies all allegations against him. 

Married with four children, he is a grandson of Hasan al-Banna, an Islamist thinker and activist who founded the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. He enjoys a substantial following among young Muslims and has challenged French restrictions on wearing veils. 

Ramadan took a leave of absence from his professorship at Britain’s Oxford University last November after the first two women filed complaints against him in France alleging rape.

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