The fate of Swiss Islamist Tariq Ramadan, accused of raping a woman in Geneva in 2008, will be decided Wednesday after a trial in which prosecutors sought a three-year prison sentence, half of which was closed.
The defense promised he would appear at the Geneva Criminal Court for the reading of the verdict, which begins at 11:00 am (09:00 GMT). The death penalty can be stayed if the verdict is appealed.
Tariq Ramadan, who turned 60 today, was the first to stand trial for rape, but he was threatened with trial in France for similar allegations. His much-anticipated trial revealed two opposing versions of the facts.
Mr. Ramadan, a charismatic and competing figure in European Islam, denies any sexual activity and says he was the victim of a “trap”.
On the other hand, the plaintiff, “Brigitte”, who converted to Islam and chose this pseudonym to protect herself from threats, claims that the Islamist subjected her to brutal sexual acts in a Geneva hotel room. Stayed overnight on October 28, 2008.
During the three-day trial, last week in Geneva, a screen separated them so she didn’t have to see it.
“Brigid”, now 57, inspired what other women did against Tariq Ramadan in France in 2018, ten years after the events, she explained.
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The two admit to spending the night together in a hotel room, and she leaves early in the morning to return home.
Tariq Ramadan assures her that it was she who invited him to his room. He says he allows himself to kiss her before quickly ending the exchange. One version that “Brigid” denied was that she was “scared to death” of being attacked by the Islamist during the trial.
A Geneva prosecutor accused Tariq Ramadan of “rape three times” and “sexual coercion” in one night. The plaintiff sought reimbursement of 50,000 Swiss francs (51,300 euros) in attorneys’ fees and damages.
During the trial, Tariq Ramadan tried to prove his innocence by asserting that there was no scientific evidence. His lawyers also accused “Brigitte” and the women who complained in France of fake links aimed at bringing down the Islamist.
Plaintiff’s attorneys argued that in the days following the night of October 28, 2008, she actually consulted two psychiatrists to tell the truth and tell them about her state of depression.
He pointed out during the trial that he had met the Islamologist, who had signed a book a few months before the events, in an increasingly intimate tone on social networks before seeing him again at a conference.
A doctor at the University of Geneva, where he wrote a thesis on his grandfather, the founder of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, Tariq Ramadan is a professor of contemporary Islamic studies at the University of Oxford in England. Many universities in Morocco, Malaysia, Japan or Qatar.
In France, he is suspected of raping four women between 2009 and 2016, prompting his downfall in 2017.
The Paris prosecutor’s office requested in July that he be sent to an auxiliary court, where it is the discretion of trial judges to order a trial. The French file earned him more than nine months of pre-trial detention in 2018. He remains under judicial supervision in France but has been granted exceptional authorization to travel to Switzerland.
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