The organizers of a conference attended by Swiss-born academic Tariq Ramadan have contradicted his statement that he was on a plane to the event at the time a woman accused him of rape.
Yassine Djemal from the Union of Young Muslims, which organized the September 2009 conference, said he was the one who picked Ramadan up from the airport.
“Mr Ramadan was scheduled to arrive in Lyon on October 9, 2009 at 11:15am. A colleague and I picked him up at the airport at around 11:35,” Yassine Djemal told investigators, according to the AFP news agency.
Ramadan’s first lawyers - who later withdrew from the case – had earlier produced an airline ticket indicating that Ramadan had only landed in Lyon at 6:35pm.
But during a court hearing in France, Djemal said Ramadan’s office had requested in a second e-mail that he’d arrive on an earlier flight.
He added that they subsequently dropped off the Islamic academic at the Hilton hotel where the woman says the rape allegedly took place.
The Swiss scholar was imprisoned in February over rape allegations in France, wherein two women’s complaints led to a criminal investigation last October. A third rape allegation was filed in February.
In addition, Ramadan is accused of having had inappropriate relations with several students whilst teaching at a Geneva-area school. The institution has launched an investigation.
Ramadan denies all allegations against him.
Earlier this year, Ramadan’s lawyers claimed he was suffering from multiple sclerosis and had requested his release under bail.
But a medical report found his health to be compatible with his detention and the request was denied.
Ramadan’s wife has now called for a second medical report and a judge is expected to announce its findings on April 15.