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France jails Islamic scholar on rape charge, judicial source says

Islamic scholar and TV analyst Tariq Ramadan has been arrested in Paris and charged with rape, a judicial source told...

Posted: Feb 4, 2018 3:14 PM
Updated: Feb 4, 2018 3:14 PM

Islamic scholar and TV analyst Tariq Ramadan has been arrested in Paris and charged with rape, a judicial source told CNN.

Ramadan, 55, was arrested on Wednesday, charged Friday and will remain in custody in France until his next hearing, the source said.

The arrest of the Oxford University professor follows public claims by two women that he assaulted them in French hotel rooms.

CNN has reached out to Ramadan's lawyer for comment.

Ramadan is a Swiss citizen who often has been featured by international media, including CNN, and whose grandfather, Hassan al-Banna, founded Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood movement.

Ramadan wrote in an October post on Facebook: "Unfounded allegations can never take the place of concrete truth. These accusations are simply false, and betray all the ideals I have long strived for and believed in."

A statement in November by Oxford University said Ramadan "categorically denies" any wrongdoing.

Ramadan took a leave of absence from Oxford in late 2017.

Accusations date to 2009 and 2012

Two accusations against Ramadan were filed in October, related to alleged incidents in 2009 and 2012, CNN affiliate BFM reported.

The first woman to accuse Ramadan of rape is Henda Ayari, a former Ramadan follower who has since become a secular activist. She publicly accused him in a Facebook post and later told The New York Times she "could not forget what happened to (her) that night with him."

A second accuser, a disabled woman who has not been named, has also accused Ramadan of rape, BFM reported last month.

"If there are other victims in France or elsewhere, they now know that justice will take notice of what they have been through," Ayari's lawyer, Jonas Haddad, told Le Monde newspaper Friday.

Ayari will soon face Ramadan in court, Haddad told BFMTV.

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