Scholar Tariq Ramadan goes on rape trial in Geneva

Published May 16, 2023
Swiss leading Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan leaves the Geneva court house on May 15. — AFP
Swiss leading Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan leaves the Geneva court house on May 15. — AFP

GENEVA: The Swiss Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan went on trial at a Geneva criminal court on Monday charged with “rape and sexual coercion”, allegations which the former Oxford University professor denies.

Ramadan arrived at the Geneva courthouse, where security had been visibly boosted as members of the public streamed in to watch the highly anticipated trial.

The Swiss complainant, who says she has faced threats and therefore wishes to be known under the assumed name of “Brigitte” during the trial, was in her 40s at the time of the alleged attack, which dates back almost 15 years.

Ramadan, 60, is accused of having subjected her to brutal sexual acts accompanied by beatings and insults on the evening of Oct 28, 2008, in a Geneva hotel room. Brigitte filed a complaint with the Geneva courts in April 2018.

The Swiss intellectual, a charismatic yet controversial figure in European Islam, could face two to 10 years in prison if convicted. One of his French lawyers, Philippe Ohayon, declined to comment ahead of the trial, which is expected to last two to three days.

The verdict will be delivered on May 24, the Geneva courts said, and Ramadan will be able to appeal if convicted.

Published in Dawn, May 16th, 2023

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