“he acted to satisfy his sexual pleasure with regard to a woman treated as an object”, according to the prosecutor

The day before, we had left the hearing still stunned by the dialectical agility with which Tariq Ramadan had faced the ordeal of his interrogation, before the Geneva Criminal Court, which is judging him for “rape” and “sexual coercion”. But the brilliance and the seduction of the verb have this chagrin that the greatest orators know well: they are as volatile as they are ephemeral. Tuesday, May 16, the trial offered its other side. The sparing, modest, hesitant words of the woman who accuses the Islamologist of having raped, hit and insulted her in room 511 of the Hotel Mon Repos in Geneva, the night of October 27 to 28, 2008.

R. A. D. lives in a small town in French-speaking Switzerland. She is 57 years old, five children including a disabled daughter, weary gestures, fine features and a blue gaze hidden under drooping eyelids like two steep roofs. Converted to Islam for a long time, she read the books of Tariq Ramadan, followed his lectures and wrote to him on his Facebook account how much she admired him. One day in spring 2008, he replied to her, she was so proud, she did everything to keep it going.

Fifteen years have passed. Beneath the dozens of pairs of eyes staring at her, she listens to the president ask her: “Madam, vaginal penetration with sex is the heart of the prosecution case. I did not quite understand at what moment he penetrates you? And the suffocation? Does it come from fellatio? And the beatings? It’s not clear. Was it slaps or blows? It was black ? Black how? And the bloodstains? Was your fear rational? » To each question, the plaintiff tries to answer, sinking more and more on her bench.

Read the story: Article reserved for our subscribers On the first day of his trial for rape, Tariq Ramadan, looking contrite, poses as a victim

She does not see, a few rows in front of her, Tariq Ramadan smiling, sighing, shaking his head, raising his eyes to heaven, convinced that the magic of the day before is still working. Her lawyers believe it too, who overwhelm the plaintiff, underline her contradictions, are indignant at her hesitations, call the court and the public to witness an error on the date of a dedication, another on a word, rant and rant. R. A. D. bends but does not break.

“I tried to be as precise as possible. Including in my contradictions. I said scrupulously what I experienced. Now, it’s not for me to make the diagnosis. » She has as much clumsiness as Tariq Ramadan had ease. As much restraint as he had audacity. And yet, little by little, it is her accuracy that wins out. R. A. D. convinces because it does not seek to convince.

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