While testifying in a rape case involving the Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan, the controversial French comedian Dieudonne said that he had listened, in the presence of other people, to the plaintiff, “Brigitte”, about her relationship with Ramadan, stressing that she had talked about a “passing relationship from one night” without mentioning the occurrence of violence. or rape.
On Tuesday, the controversial French comedian Dieudonne testified in Geneva in support of the Islamic thinker Tariq Ramadan, who is appearing before a criminal court on charges of rape in a case dating back to 2008, which he denies having committed.
Dieudonne told reporters in front of the court: “I’m not here to show off, I’m here to provide clarifications, to testify and say what I heard and tell the truth.”
The Swiss prosecutor, who was present in the courtroom throughout Monday’s discussions, was heard briefly, before Dieudonné arrived to explain to the president of the court that she had previously collaborated with the French comedian as art director. The court wanted to hear Dieudonné’s testimony at the request of the defense, because his name was mentioned in an anonymous letter that the judges received a short time ago.
The French humorist explained that the message was sent by one of his artistic producers, who is no longer in contact with him, and explained that he had listened in the presence of other people to the words of “Brigitte” about her relationship with Tariq Ramadan, stressing that she talked about “a fleeting relationship from one night or something like that”, from Without mentioning the occurrence of violence. In response to a question to find out why he considers giving his testimony important, the humorist confirmed, “I am confident in the innocence” of Tariq Ramadan.
Before Dieudonné entered the courtroom, the plaintiff gave her account of this meeting, explaining, “Dieudonné asked me if the story with Tariq Ramadan was true, and I confirmed it to him.” She added, “I did not reveal anything else. This happened shortly after the accident, and we met later once or twice at one of the performances, but we did not discuss the matter again.”
The Swiss plaintiff, who says she lives under threat and uses the pseudonym “Brigitte”, was about 40 years old when the alleged incidents took place some 15 years ago.
“Brigitte,” who converted to Islam, confirms that Ramadan subjected her to brutal sexual acts, accompanied by beatings and insults, on the evening of October 28, 2008, in a hotel room in Geneva. I filed a complaint in 2018.
Between two and ten years imprisonment
In the courtroom, a barrier separates Brigitte and Ramadan, so that she does not see him during the trial, which constitutes “an ordeal rather than a cure” for her, according to her lawyer, Francois Zimray.
During the investigation, “Brigitte” said that she met Ramadan during a signing session for one of his books months before, on the night of October 28, 2008, and then during a conference in September. This was followed by more intimate correspondence through social media.
The Swiss thinker, who is causing controversy in European Islamic circles, faces the possibility of a prison sentence of two to ten years if he is convicted, and the verdict is issued on May 24, and Tariq Ramadan can appeal it.
And Ramadan, who is sixty years old, confirmed today that he did not tell the plaintiff that he was in Geneva on the night of the supposed facts, stressing that she was the one who suggested drinking a cup of coffee and came to his hotel room without an invitation. He admitted that he kissed her before ending the relationship. However, the indictment states that he committed “three rapes” during the same night, as well as “sexual coercion” during which she nearly suffocated.
Ramadan holds a PhD from the University of Geneva, where he wrote a thesis on the founder of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, Hassan al-Banna, his maternal grandfather. He was Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom until November 2017, and a guest professor at several universities in Morocco, Malaysia, Japan and Qatar.
Ramadan is popular among conservative Islam, but it raises controversy, especially among advocates of secularism, who consider it a supporter of political Islam. Monday confirmed that he suffers from multiple sclerosis and depression.
In France, he is suspected of committing rape between 2009 and 2016 targeting four women, a case that caused his downfall in 2017. In July, the Paris Public Prosecution requested that he be referred to the criminal court, and it is up to the investigative judges to decide whether or not to try him.
In the framework of the French file, he was imprisoned temporarily for nine months in 2018 and was released in November of the same year. Since then, he has been under judicial control.
One of the legal conditions imposed on him is to reside in France, but he obtains exceptional permissions to leave French territory to go to Switzerland in the context of the current case.