Madame Nicole Belloubet, Minister of Justice:
As international scholars, politicians and journalists, we are writing to you, the French Minister of Justice, to demand an immediate halt to the indictment of Tariq Ramadan case.
This process has gone on far too long by French investigating judges, Camille Guillermet, Camille Palluel and Cyril Paquaux. heir bias, lack of impartiality, neglect of key evidence, delaying of key information and ignoring investigations brought forward by the French Criminal Division has been astonishing. In their role as “investigating judges”, it is surprising that they have chosen to ignore exculpatory evidence and suspicious connections between the plaintiffs and long-time critics of Professor Ramadan.
Let us be clear: We, the signatories of this letter, endorse France’s commitment to uphold the values of “liberté, égalité, fraternité” threatened today around the world. It is not for us to judge Tariq Ramadan’s guilt or innocence. We fully recognize the rights of the plaintiffs to have their case heard without prejudice. However, we wish to remind the country that has affirmed the inalienability of human rights and equality of the importance of respect for the principles that ensure the integrity of French justice.
It has been two years since professor Ramadan was indicted, nine months of which were spent in pre-trial solitary detention, despite the chief prison medical authority confirming his health was incompatible with incarceration due to illness. Professor Ramadan was also denied access to his case file and thus to the necessary means of preparing his defence. His right to a speedy judicial process has been ignored. Since his release in November 2018, the turn of events has been even more worrying. The following are a few examples:
The judges mandated an expert psychiatrist, Dr. Daniel Zagury, to see if there was a notion of “psychological grip” on the plaintiffs, an extremely rare procedure. The whole case depends now on his report. This is a clear conflict of interest as Dr. Zagury’s is an active member of the pro-Zionist Schibboleth association, which is ideologically opposed to Professor Ramadan. He also has friendly links with the opposing counsel Me Francis Szpiner and Me Eric Morain. We request that he recuse himself immediately.
The fourth complainant, “Elvira” was completely invalidated by the Criminal Division. The judges and prosecutors continued to hear her complaint until she recanted and it was clearly determined she did not even know Tariq Ramadan. Elvira and Mounia Rabbouj have both publicly stated, on social media, that they have been pushed and manipulated by the Israeli French paparazzi Jean-Claude Elfassi. The Criminal Division discovered that the latter has actually been in touch with the four plaintiffs (he, himself, acknowledged on I24 TV channel he was in touch with the fifth complainant in Switzerland). Surprisingly, after 28 months of investigation, Jean-Claude Elfassi has not been heard by the investigating judges.
The judges have indicted Tariq Ramadan on the basis of two witnesses whom they have not even questioned, and whom they encouraged to come forward (even though they did not file a complaint).
Has Professor Ramadan been granted the equal treatment so prized by France when high-ranking political figures, artists, and film producers accused of similar offenses have their rights protected like a gold standard? Is there one form of justice for Muslims in France and another for everyone else?
In short, we respectfully ask, has Professor Ramadan benefitted from a fair and equitable legal process, one in which he is presumed innocent until proven guilty?
Call to action
We appeal to your commitment to France’s reputation as a defender of justice. We trust that as the Minister of Justice you will respond to our appeal and address our concerns that a fair and just process be implemented. In particular, we suggest that if the Magistrates in charge of Tariq Ramadan’s case are not able to properly do their work with the impartiality required by the Judiciary’s code of ethics, they should be removed and replaced by truly impartial judges.
Professor John Esposito, University of Georgetown, USA
Professor Tariq Modood, University of Bristol, UK
Professor Kalypso Nikolaïdis, University of Oxford, UK