The release request submitted by Professor Tariq Ramadan’s lawyer was denied again on October 29th.Viewed by many to be a judicial scandal, the judges' reasoning is increasingly far-fetched in this12-month investigative process where evidence; interviews with witnesses; and phone and computer searches reveal exculpatory elements. Few have been considered by the investigating judges.
In this latest denial, the magistrates no longer mention Henda Ayari, the plaintiff who has thus far been unable to provide information on the place and date of the alleged rape. There are text messages ruling against her, as well as her own witnesses and family members questioning her credibility.
"Christelle's" messages confirming that it could not have been rape have completely been ignored."It is as if all the exculpatory elements clearing Tariq Ramadan has been completely ignored by the judges," said a source close to the case.
Judges and evidence
In this procedure, Tariq Ramadan has been confronted with three investigating judges who from the beginning are proceeding as if Tariq Ramadan is already guilty.
Several investigations requested by Tariq Ramadan’s lawyer, Me Marsigny have not received a response.
A number of witness statements submitted to the judges by the criminal brigade section reveal involvement of Caroline Fourest, Alain Soral, Jean-Claude Elfassi and Ian Hamel, Tariq Ramadan’s sworn enemies. Hearings were commissioned for these highly controversial figures but the judges have not yet responded.
Another worrying element is that several central examinations in the case are still inexplicably pending. This is the case for "Christelle's" photo added to the file in April 2018 which could prove she was present at a lecture given by Tariq Ramadan. In addition to this photo, the file reveals "Christelle" mentioned to the first doctor examining her in November 2017 that she was at the professor's conference. She then denied this later in her declarations. Many witnesses also claimed to have seen her at the conference. This photo is a centrepiece of "Christelle's" lies.
These central elements on hold in the file underline a procedural orientation that is not neutraland raises many questions in France and in the international community.
French philosopher Edgar Morin puts it in these words: "Did Tariq Ramadan rape three women or did the three women violate the truth?"
The academic François Burgat, meanwhile, said on Twitter: "Did Tariq Ramadan rape three women?" It is no longer the crucial question! The real question is now: "How these three women (and their sponsors) could so easily mislead three of high ranking magistrates and 90% of the French press? ".
Nina Arif, freelance journalist based in Saudi Arabia, underlines the unusual nature of the procedure: "Nothing justifies the way Tariq Ramadan is being treated by the French authorities. Only simpletons can believe that this trial is not politically motivated".
This exceptional procedure illustrates a form of judicial violence, which lawyer Dupond Morettiarticulately expressed: "A machine that is too well oiled, that runs without anything that can slow down its performance, is a crazy machine. Men should not be tried without taking every precaution to avoid a miscarriage of justice. Certainties or inculpatory reasoning aren’t enough to build a case".
Investigation confirms plaintiff lies
Although the investigating judges do not seem to have the will to address the plaintiffs' lies for the moment, the latest reports have proved their lies. Lawyer Marsigny and his client [Tariq Ramadan] filed a series of complaints against the three plaintiffs for defamation and denunciation of imaginary crimes.
The irrevocable elements related to Henda Ayari’s complaint, explained at length by Le Monde newspaper, put an end to a twelve-month long debate since the messages revealed by the investigation clearly show she not only lied about the alleged rape, but did not stop harassing Tariq Ramadan for more than two years after the alleged rape.
This, added to the fact that Henda Ayari has twice provided dates and places that were invalidated each time by the Criminal Brigade’s investigation. So far she has not provided any date or place for the alleged rape. "The Henda Ayari file is closed," as lawyer Marsigny said some time ago.
As for "Christelle", text messages she sent to Professor Tariq Ramadan refute the thesis of rape. Although they are not timestamped, they provide indisputable proof. Indeed, during the two hearings, "Christelle" stated that she met Tariq Ramadan only once. However, in a text message she mentioned a temporal marker in the word "Yesterday", referring to their single appointment, followed by tender and descriptive words related to this appointment. There can be no doubt about the timeline. "Christelle" has lied and this totally puts into question her narrative about the alleged rape or sequestration.
Me Morain, her lawyer claims these messages were sent before the unique meeting of October 9, and following a Skype message. This defense obviously does not take into account the content of the message itself: "If I had spent a bad time, I would have left. I stayed and I gave you more than I gave anyone and I miss your skin... I missed you as soon as I passed through the door "...
On the other hand, it is very strange that on "Christelle's" phone, only timestamped messages from Tariq Ramadan were found; and some non-timestamped messages from "Christelle"; and a message from Caroline Fourest. All the rest of the content seems to have been erased. Was there an attempt to delete the messages? And if so, with what intention?
The file also mentions a medical certificate issued by a doctor to "Christelle", three weeks after the alleged rape. If the doctor claims to have received a patient reporting an assault, all he noted was a simple crisis of haemorrhoids.
All these elements have been brought to light, in addition to a very strange conversation between "Christelle" and a certain Denise W., which the press has been talking about for months, confirming the thesis of premeditation. In a Skype conversation added to the file, "Christelle" talks about Tariq Ramadan on Skype with a certain Denise W.:
[24.10.2009 15:39:06] Denise: what is your plan?
[24.10.2009 15:39:12] "Christelle": I cannot say
[24.10.2009 15:39:13] "Christelle": sorry
[24.10.2009 15:39:26] Denise: I think we should together talk to Fourest (author of "Brother Tariq")
[24.10.2009 15:39:27] "Christelle": for that I have to go on my own, but I am gathering everything needed
[24.10.2009 15:43:53] Denise: what do you think of contacting Fourest?
[24.10.2009 15:44:00] "Christelle": it's planned
[24.10.2009 15:44:06] Denise: there is a debate in November between him and her
[24.10.2009 15:44:07] "Christelle": she is part of my plan
Two days later, on October 26, "Christelle" contacts Denise W, the discussion continues...
10.2009 09:28:39] "Christelle": I got an answer from Caroline Fourest
[26.10.2009 09:28:56] Denise: Hello!
[26.10.2009 09:29:26] Denise: Well me too, this morning!
[26.10.2009 09:29:31] "Christelle": lol
[26.10.2009 09:29:38] "Christelle": she does not want to attack him in this way
[26.10.2009 09:29:56] Denise: I understand
[26.10.2009 09:30:48] "Christelle": but we are going to take care of his political career lol
All these elements have been examined and made available since February 2018.
Collusion: Is this a turning point in the case?
"Christelle" lied about her relationship with Henda Ayari - saying that she did not know her at first - but also about Brigitte, the Swiss plaintiff. Contrary to what she asserted, they have been linked for 9 years as the investigation has proved.
Indeed, the investigators found in "Christelle's" computer twenty photos dated from 2009 with the Swiss plaintiff. And in addition to the four plaintiffs, a whole network of people, including Caroline Fourest, Alain Soral, Ian Hamel or Jean-Claude Elfassi, stakeholders in this case.
These elements bring us to assert that the plaintiffs have not lied individually but collectively and in connection with each other. So there is a will to hurt. And behind them, there are people who are obviously, and for a long time, opposed to Tariq Ramadan.
This record is now supported by factual and referenced evidence proving that the four plaintiffs lied. This could be a turning point in the case and yet these elements are currently being ignored by the investigating judges. It would seem that the court now wants to continue the hearings, and to treat the exculpatory evidence as mere procedural elements.
This is a strange way to conduct an investigation, where we now have two plaintiffs Henda Ayari and "Christelle", undermined by their own text messages explicitly proving there was no rape.
It is clear, therefore, that the judges are not interested in the manifestation of the truth, but in the prolongation of the procedure.
"The irrevocable factual evidence of the case highlight that the treatment of this case is not based on the manifestation of the truth, but to prolong the detention of Tariq Ramadan", indicates a source close to case.
Magistrate Georges Domergue said this about justice: "Whenever you want something to happen, whenever you want someone to appear in court, that's enough to make one appear in court."
It seems today that we are in this kind of situation, an empty record of evidence in the hands of a justice that is clearly not independent of ideological and political bias.