Before portraying herself as a pious Muslim convert, “Christelle”, real name Paule-Emma A., was initially engaged in a right-wing political career. After an unsuccessful election while running for the National Assembly, she turned toward social media platforms for her activism and founded the web site “Women for Marine le Pen”, later known as “Femmes Françaises Magazine” (“French Women Magazine”). In line with Marine le Pen’s rhetoric and political agenda, about half of the news articles shared in this platform portrays Islam as a threat and a religion of hatred, and ultimately vilifies Muslims as well as other ethnics minorities.
This Muslim convert “in search of religious guidance” from Tariq Ramadan, initially admitted, in front of the judges, having forged email accounts in Ramadan’s name to disseminate fake messages in his name and discredit his reputation. She also confessed to a close friend that she was “fed up” with being “harassed by journalists, publishers, the French secret services and politicians”, who were apparently blackmailing her to push her to accuse Ramadan of rape. During that period, as part of that harassment, she went through no fewer than four fiscal investigations from the French tax services. Following those revelations, Ramadan’s lawyer requested that an investigation be conducted into all this including witness tampering. That request was denied, and some of these key elements have, since then, mysteriously disappeared from the file.
Although they initially denied knowing each other, the investigation later showed that Paule-Emma A. had been communicating with the first accuser, as well as with the journalist Caroline Fourest, notorious for having built her career on the demonization of Tariq Ramadan, in order to “end Ramadan’s political career”.
Some of the police findings have already contradicted Paule-Emma’s claims. For example, the hotel room she described where she was supposedly raped corresponds in no way to the actual hotel room at that time (despite the fact she said she stayed the whole night there after her rape—alone after Ramadan left for his 9 p.m. conference—and in her admission only left in the morning, after breakfast, meaning she spent a good 10 hours in that room). The hotel records contradict other details she gave. For example, she recalls hearing people in the rooms next to hers, while in the hotel register shows that they were all empty. The police managed to find and interrogate all the witnesses (hotel clerks and bus driver) whom she said had seen her right after her rape. However, none of them remember having to accommodate a women with bruises, tears, or signs of trauma, as described in her testimonial.
Although Ramadan initially denied any sexual relations with this accuser, text messages, which indicates that a relation took place, were retrieved and recently presented to the judges; more than seven months after the beginning of the investigation. Me Marsigny however deplores that, while the text messages show consent by both parties, the judges and the press have willingly dismissed the messages that invalidate the accuser’s version of the events.
The accusation by Paule-Emma A., deprived of undeniable evidences and without witnesses, resides solely on the truthfulness of her testimonial. It is thus unfortunate that, knowing the contradictions present in the accuser’s testimonial, her political activism, her acknowledged relation with the French secret services, politicians, journalist and the other accusers, that Tariq Ramadan is kept incarcerated.