An expert psychiatrist in the trial of Oxford Professor Tariq Ramadan says his alleged victims were “under his control” and that they did not consent to “extremely violent” sex acts.
Court-appointed expert psychiatrist Dr Daniel Zagury told the rape trial in the French capital Paris that a fair description of the relationship between Tariq Ramadan and hisalleged victims was one of a relationship “of control”.
In his conclusion, the expert considered that this dimension of control, hotly contested by the defence, is found in the relationships formed with the two main complainants, Henda Ayari and a woman named only as Christelle, who claim he raped them in 2012 and in 2009 respectively.
Regarding alleged victim Ms. Ayari, Dr Zagury said that “we must also consider the intensity of the romantic feelings that led her to consent to a sexual relationship”.
The expert also believes that “it would be wrong to consider that only the influence led (Christelle) to consent to a sexual encounter”.
He concluded: “What she did not consent to is the acts she describes as a mixture of extreme violence and a lack of consideration for her own desire and dignity.”
Concerning a third complainant, a 37-year-old woman who appeared last year in the investigation, the expert noted that “if there has been any influence, it is that of the love state of X which quickly gave way before the recognition of the gap between her expectations and the nature of those of Mr Ramadan”.
The alleged victim, who has not been named, had told investigators about her meeting Ramadan in Paris in 2016: “It is of a different order than physical rape, […] there is a moral rape.”
Eric Morain, the lawyer of Christelle, speaking about Dr Zagury’s words, said: “This is a masterful, scientific and relentless demonstration which corroborates what the case has been saying for two and a half years now and which explains the accusations made by the complainants.”
For one of Ms. Ayari’s lawyers, Jonas Haddad, “this expertise characterises the grip established by Mr Ramadan”, and therefore establishes “duress” which constitutes the criminal definition of rape.
He added: “She is operating in a harmful climate, since my client was again attacked last week by a supporter of Ramadan.”
He is accused of raping four women and denies the charges. The case continues.
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