Tariq Ramadan changes his story after tech experts leak text messages
New text messages revealed by the investigation into rape claims against Tariq Ramadan have led to the academic changing his story to French authorities.
The Oxford Islamic Studies professor is in custody accused of raping two women in hotel rooms. He has denied the charges.
Mr Ramadan, 56, originally told French police that he had not had sexual contact with either feminist activist Henda Ayari or the woman referred to as “Christelle”.
But his story has changed after the discovery of the text messages.
The women came forward after the start of the MeToo movement. Ms Ayari says she was raped in the spring of 2012 in Paris, and Christelle’s claims she was raped and beaten in Lyon in 2009.
The messages showed “that the plaintiffs lied and that the sexual encounters were wanted, consensual and even sought again afterwards”, Mr Ramadan’s lawyer, Emmanuel Marsigny, said last week.
Mr Ramadan has since admitted “that he had sexual relations” with the women.
French investigators found 399 text messages between Ramadan and Christelle, sent between August 31 and December 15, 2009.
A leaked report compiled by the investigation’s IT experts showed that he sent Christelle a message after the alleged incident reading: “I sensed your unease. Apologies for my ‘violence’.”
“For 11 months, Tariq Ramadan has lied, and all that time he was calling the complainants liars and taking the judges to task,” Christelle’s lawyer Eric Morain said.
“His gamble, and it was a failed gamble, was to think it would be impossible for us to prove our case. His gamble was that my client wouldn’t be believed.”
Mr Ramadan is also the subject of a rape accusation in his native Switzerland by a woman who claims she was attacked in a Geneva hotel.
French investigators found 399 text messages between Ramadan and one of his accusers
Swiss academic Tariq Ramadan has admitted to having relations with two women who accused him of rape