Well-known Islamic studies scholar Tariq Ramadan has been cleared of rape and sexual coercion by a Swiss court.
Ramadan, who is a Swiss citizen, is the grandson of Hassan al-Banna, the founder of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. The case was brought by a Swiss woman who said she had been raped by Ramadan in a Geneva hotel in 2008
A convert to Islam, and a fan of Ramadan’s, the woman told the court she had been subjected to a brutal sexual assault, beatings and insults.
She said it happened after she was invited by the former Oxford academic for a coffee after a conference.
Ramadan, who is 60, had faced up to three years in prison if convicted. He denied all the charges, but did admit to having met the woman.
After the verdict was read in the Geneva Criminal Court, the 60-year-old Swiss preacher smiled and was hugged by one of his daughters.
Ramadan’s 57-year-old accuser, identified under the assumed name of “Brigitte”, left the courtroom before the end of the verdict.
Her lawyers immediately vowed to appeal the ruling.
Prosecutors had last week called for a three-year sentence against Ramadan. The case was the first time he has been tried for rape, although he risks facing a trial in France on similar charges.
The Swiss trial presented two diametrically opposed versions of what happened in a Geneva hotel room in October 2008.