The prosecution requested on Tuesday the dismissal of the Islamologist before the Assizes for four rapes. An unsurprising decision, according to the defense lawyer.
After more than four and a half years of judicial information, the prosecution requested on Tuesday the referral to the Assizes of Tariq Ramadan, accused of raping four women between 2009 and 2016. All said they had been victims of situations of influence, accusations that the Islamologist rejected and described as “imaginary” or as simple “consensual relations of domination”.
“He remains calm in the face of the final indictment that has been drawn up. He is absolutely not surprised: the prosecution has always been extremely oriented in this case towards Tariq Ramadan”, estimates his lawyer, Me Ouadie Elhamamouchi, guest on the BFMTV set this Tuesday.
Among the complainants are Henda Ayari, a former Salafist activist who has become a secularist, as well as Christelle (assumed name). The latter filed a complaint against Tariq Ramadan in 2017, denouncing rapes on his part. An escort-girl also filed a complaint, accusing him of having raped her nine times between 2013 and 2014. Finally, the last complainant had been identified by the investigators, who had found photos of them in the computer of the Islamologist.
“There has always been consent”, says the lawyer
If Tariq Ramadan remains “extremely calm”, it is because he believes, like his lawyer, that the complainants lied on numerous occasions during the investigation. “There are a dozen blatant lies and inventions. For example, Christelle was supposed to be dying in the hotel room, but expertise proved that she was then able to attend a conference”, says the defense.
While the question of consent is at the very heart of the case, Me Ouadie Elhamamouchi evokes a version different from that put forward in the requisitions of the prosecution.
“Things, in truth, are much more complex. There has always been consent. It has never been denied by the opposing parties,” he says on the set of BFMTV.
According to him, the expertise carried out during the investigation is also problematic. “The expertise is done without having heard Tariq Ramadan, it’s quite funny. And what is more is done by an expert with whom he is in legal conflict, since there are proceedings in progress before the Council of the Order.”
“Collusions” between the complainants?
Asked about the change of version of his client, who initially claimed to have never had sex with these women before admitting to relations according to him consented, the lawyer evokes “perhaps personal reasons”.
“The heart of the problem is not to moralize Mr. Ramadan. At one point, indeed, for perhaps personal reasons, he disputed these relations. But once he understood that it was in his interest to say what had really happened, the one who has always told the truth is Tariq Ramadan. What the Criminal Brigade has managed to prove that these complainants had made false statements.
In addition, Me Ouadie Elhamamouchi denounces “collusion” between the various complainants, who did not first say that they were in contact. “The plaintiffs knew each other, they exchanged emails and all of this is black and white in the file”, he believes, extending the thesis of a “conspiracy” that the Islamologist himself denounces.
After the prosecution’s request, it is now the investigating judge in charge of the case who must decide on the holding of a trial at the Assizes.