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Tariq Ramadan case: between obvious collusion and political set-up

At the heart of the Tariq Ramadan case, a multitude of notorious intellectual opponents are suspected of collusion. While the investigating judges have never responded to the requests submitted by Ramadan’s lawyer, Emmanuel Marsigny, to interrogate the individuals most often cited in the case, many questions remain unanswered regarding their involvement. Caroline Fourest: a central figure? Caroline Fourest, a renowned opponent of Tariq Ramadan, was among the first to make a TV appearance when the case broke out. In her initial interventions, she lied and claimed she did not know Henda Ayari. She also minimized her relationship with Paule-Emma Aline. However, according to the investigation, Fourest had 156 and 116 telephone contacts respectively with Henda Ayari and Paule-Emma Aline, six months before Henda Ayari lodged her complaint in October 2017. Fourest then admitted having met Paule-Emma Aline in 2009. According to the Journal du Dimanche newspaper, Fourest introduced Paule-Emma Aline to the prosecutor Michel Debacq (former antiterrorist unit’s chief at the prosecution department and one of Emmanuel Macron's advisers). Both Debacq and Fourest say today that they have been aware of the rape charges since 2009 but did not deem it useful to lunch a judicial procedure while they say they were informed about a crime! Isn’t it illegal for a “journalist” and a prosecutor to remain silent when they know about a crime ?

Even more disturbing, the investigation into Paule-Emma Aline's Skype calls has brought to light a strange discussion where Paule-Emma Aline explicitly said that Caroline Fourest is part of her "plan" to bring down Tariq Ramadan. In spite of lawyer Marsigny’s requests [to interrogate Fourest], she was never summoned for a hearing by the judges. Similarly, the phone fadettes (identifying dates and times of calls or SMS) have never been added to the court file. Fourest has also had proven contacts in Belgium with Majda Bernoussi, and the Swiss plaintiff whose pseudonym is "Brigitte" for the media and "Maimouna" on social networks. Jean-Claude Elfassi, Alain Soral and the rest The Israeli-French paparazzi known for his brutality, Jean-Claude Elfassi is all over this file. He still, however, has not been summoned for a hearing by the Criminal Brigade and the judges. He is suspected of having played a large role in the staging of complaints against Tariq Ramadan. In August 2017, three months before the case, he posted an ad on his blog asking women to send him intimate testimony to discredit Tariq Ramadan. As had been the case in the JeremStar affair, Elfassi could have pushed the third plaintiff to file a complaint and, according to her, he also pushed her to change her narrative. Today, she accuses him of having manipulated her with the complicity of her previous lawyer Francis Szpiner. Elfassi has long been in contact with Henda Ayari, who regularly posts pictures of them together. Their relationship seems strange as they have exchanged troubling messages in private which were later leaked and posted on the internet. Sometimes verbally violent, other times friendly or more, their messaging proves that they have been in close contact, before the complaint was lodged and throughout the court proceedings till the present time. Elfassi also had direct and indirect contacts with the Swiss plaintiff before and after she was convinced to file a complaint in April 2018. Elfassi is also under investigation for several complaints in this case. These include; defamation of Tariq Ramadan's witnesses, harassment and threats. Before going quiet on the social networks, Elfassi also harassed some of Tariq Ramadan’s family members, many supporters and witnesses by tweeting defamatory, often rude or sexual messages. Following his argument with the third plaintiff, Mounia Rabbouj, he posted nude photos of her, accompanied by a text that carried sexual connotation. Elfassi introduced Mounia Rabouj and Henda Ayari to his friend, lawyer Szpiner, who initially defended them. Later, Rabouj accused Szpiner of manipulation and raised money problems. This is confirmed by Rabbouj’s wiretaps that were investigated by the judges. The wiretap revealed that the plaintiff has received money from her lawyer but complained to one of her interlocutors about his non-compliance of their agreement. Finally, other protagonists of the case, known to be notorious opponents of Tariq Ramadan, were in contact with the first two plaintiffs. Suspected of collusion, none of them was summoned for a hearing by the judges. This is particularly the case of Alain Soral; Henda Ayari often mentioned him in her messages to Tariq Ramadan. She lets Ramadan know that she had a relationship with Soral and that he wanted her to set him up. Additionally, according to Gamal Abina, a witness heard by the Criminal Brigade, Henda Ayari told him that she knew Soral very well and had been in regular contact with him. He testified: "She went so far as to give me her phone number and explained to me that at the time, he [Soral] had pushed her to seduce Tariq Ramadan into inviting her to the hotel room." Paule-Emma Aline was also in touch with Soral and his friend at that time, Salim Laïbi, "Le Libre Penseur" (the free thinker), both close to the far right movements. She had informed Tariq Ramadan of all that since 2009. Finally, according to a source close to the file, Alain Soral was the companion of Majda Bernoussi who revealed, by email, that Soral had also suggested to her to "trap Ramadan". The Swiss complainant, "Brigitte" - "Maimouna" was also in contact with Soral through Dieudonné with whom she posted a very close and intimate relationship on social networks (posts and photos). Nacira Menadi ("Vanessa" from BeurFM radio) was heard by the police but not by the judges. She has established phone contact with Ayari (57 times) and with Paule-Emma Aline (51 times) between May and November 2017 (six months before the complaints were lodged) according to the file facts. Since 2009, she has had many contacts on social networks with the Swiss plaintiff "Maimouna". Menadi is also an intimate friend of Yasmine Kepel, Gilles Kepel’s partner, whose opposition to Tariq Ramadan has been long established. In 2015, two years before the case, he told an online journalist that Tariq Ramadanwould soon "fall from grace". Bloggers Maamar Metmati and Adeline Aragon (whose pseudonym is "Lucia Canovi" on the Net) have also not been summoned for a hearing by the judges. In a video posted almost six months before the case, Metmati offered to give 3000 € to anyone who would provide him with information on TariqRamadan's private and sexual life. "Lucia Canovi" posted dozens of messages and videos on the internet calling on people to denounce Tariq Ramadan. She wrote a book against Ramadan a year before the case was lodged, in which she announced that she wanted to bring him down. Her book tells women's stories and on a Facebook post, she gives distinctive signs of [Tariq Ramadan]’s anatomy in order, she claims, to help making "more credible" the testimonies of those who would like to lodge a complaint against Ramadan. She was in contact with the fourth plaintiff and the two witnesses "R" and "C" who testified against Tariq Ramadan. Finally, the retired journalist, Ian Hamel, the sociologist Vincent Geisser (who has exchanged many messages with Henda Ayari) and the prosecutor Michel Debacq were also indirectly involved in the case, but have not been summoned for a hearing by the judges till now. In a case such as that of Tariq Ramadan, where so many well-known opponents have been or are in contact with the plaintiffs, it is legitimate to pose the question: is this affair primarily political? Why this double standard treatment with regards to litigant’s identity or the media coverage of the case? Why would individuals, so implicated in the case, are conspicuously absent from the judicial process and media questioning? What are these absentees hiding? In a case of such a global impact like that of Tariq Ramadan, how come that none of the newspapers nor any investigative journalist has examined the absentees’ role and the high probability of a political collusion? M.M


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