Rabat – The Paris Court of Appeal has once again denied a request to release Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan, who has been detained on rape and sexual harassment charges since February.
Ramadan’s lawyer, Emmanuel Marsigny, complained about his client’s health condition and denounced the “multiple contradictions and inconsistencies among the complainants.” According to the lawyer, Ramadan has had multiple sclerosis since 2006.
“Mr. Ramadan has nothing to do in prison. He can be quite free,” the lawyer told AFP. He added that his client asked to live under restricted house arrest and surrender his passport to be released, but could not convince the court to order his release.
To date, three women have accused Ramadan of rape. Ramadan denied all charges against him, but admitted to having relations with one of the complainants.
Marie, Ramadan’s third complainant, relayed statements in March to French newsource Europe 1. She also provided investigators with a dress allegedly containing Ramadan’s DNA. Tests are still being conducted to determine if there is a correlation between DNA samples.
The defense team presented the court with several release requests. The latest application was rejected before the court on May 4.
The scholar’s defense team also requested a new medical expert to examine Ramadan, claiming that his client’s health was incompatible with remaining in prison. The defense also added that Ramadan was not receiving the necessary treatment in custody.
If the charges are confirmed, the scholar will face up to 15 years in prison on the charge of rape, and up to 20 years on the separate charge of rape of a vulnerable person, since the second complainant is disabled.