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Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan faces charges in France in two rape cases

Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan faces charges in France in two rape cases
Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan, shown in 2016, denies the rape charges and has filed a suit claiming false allegations. (Michel Spingler / Associated Press)

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

Ramadan was jailed, at least temporarily.

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Ramadan was placed under investigation on suspicion of rape in encounters in 2009 and 2012, the official said. Both women filed the complaints last year.

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

Ramadan denies wrongdoing and has filed his own suit asserting 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 in custody, probably because of concerns he could leave the country.

Ramadan is on leave from England'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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