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Islam scholar Tariq Ramadan charged with suspected rape

Muslim scholar Tariq Ramadan delivers a speech during a French Muslim organizations meeting in Lille, northern France, on Feb.7, 2016. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)

PARIS (AP) — Prominent Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan was handed preliminary charges in two alleged cases of rape by women who sought his counsel, a judicial official said Friday.


RELATED: Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan in custody in France amid rape claims


Ramadan was jailed, at least temporarily.

Ramadan was placed under investigation for alleged rape in a 2009 encounter and the rape of a vulnerable person in a 2012 case, the official said. Both women filed the complaints last year.

The scholar asked to postpone a debate required before eventual confinement, according to the judicial official who was not authorized to speak publicly.

Ramadan strongly denies wrongdoing and has filed his own suit for false allegations.

An investigating magistrate in charge of the case followed the request of the Paris prosecutor’s office in charging him. Ramadan has been in custody in Paris since Wednesday.

Preliminary charges mean that after a full investigation the suspect can either be freed for lack of grounds or be indicted and sent to trial. The investigation can be lengthy.

The prosecutor’s office has asked the judge to keep Ramadan — who holds Swiss nationality — in custody, likely because of concerns he could leave the country.

Ramadan is on leave from Britain’s Oxford University, where he is a professor of contemporary Islamic studies. He travels frequently and has written numerous books on Islam and the integration of Muslims in Europe.

He is being investigated by French authorities because the rapes are alleged to have taken place in Paris and Lyon.

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The Associated Press

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