Noted Islamic scholar and Swiss academic Tariq Ramadan has been released on bail by a Paris Court of Appeal after having been held in detention for over 10 months on charges of sexual assault, his lawyer stated Thursday.
His bail was set at 300,000 euros ($340,000) and it requires him to hand over his passport and report to police once a week.
During the appeal hearing, Ramadan said he did not intend to become a fugitive from the law and added that his multiple sclerosis meant he couldn’t walk properly.
“I will remain in France and defend my honour and my innocence,” he told the judges. “I would like you to make your decision from your conscience, not because my name is Tariq Ramadan and I’m demonised in this country.”
His lawyer Emmanuel Marsigny told Reuters news agency, “Ramadan’s release… demonstrated that the rape accusations against him were lies.”
He has been accused of rape in two separate incidents. He reportedly faced one of the accusers in a 10-hour confrontation on September 18.
The woman is an Islam convert who is differently abled on behest of a car accident. She had disclosed that Ramadan had raped her in October 2009 in a hotel room in Lyon, southeastern France.
Ramadan is the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hasan al-Banna and is married with four children. He is famous for having challenged the restrictions by France on veils. He is also currently embroiled in another rape complaint by a Swiss woman in Geneva.
(With inputs from agencies)