Cherwell

Tariq Ramadan paid woman for silence over relationship

Oxford University professor Tariq Ramadan paid a woman to stay silent about their relationship in 2015, according to Belgian judicial officials.

The president of the Court of First Instance in the Belgian capital, Luc Hennart, confirmed to AFP on Wednesday that Ramadan paid $33000 to Majda Bernoussi, a Belgian-Moroccan woman, to stop her posting details about their affair online.

The news follows Ramadan’s detention in France in February on charges that he raped two women. A third woman has since accused the professor of rape.

Ramadan, an Oxford professor of contemporary Islamic studies, denies all the charges.

According to the Daily Mail, Hennart said a public judgement was made in Brussels in May 2015 between the professor and the women after she posted about his “psychological grip” on her.

Hennart noted that the agreement “provides that Majda Bernoussi deletes her online posts and stops publishing new ones, for a sum of money given by Tariq Ramadan.”

According to French news outlet Mediapart, the agreement also stipulated that Bernoussi would not send “offensive or threatening” messages to the professor or his family members.

Bernoussi has not made accusations of rape or sexual assault against Ramadan.

The existing allegations of rape and sexual assaults against Ramadan emerged in October last year. The professor took a leave of absence from the University in November.

A statement by the University of Oxford at the time read: “The University has consistently acknowledged the gravity of the allegations against Professor Ramadan, while emphasising the importance of fairness and the principles of justice and due process.

“An agreed leave of absence implies no presumption or acceptance of guilt and allows Professor Ramadan to address the extremely serious allegations made against him…”

Ramadan has consistently dismissed allegations against him, noting in part that they are a smear campaign by enemies.

Having been detained in February, Ramadan was declared fit for prison later in the same month, despite reports of his suffering from multiple sclerosis and another “severe chronic illness”. The academic was hospitalised after 12 days in a Paris jail.

At the time, his family argued on their site ‘Free Tariq Ramadan’ that this decision to declare him fit was “going against science.”

Last month, Cherwell reported that Ramadan released a video protesting his innocence, after a third women came forward accusing him of rape.