Leading Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan, charged with raping two women in France, claimed Monday that he had consensual sex with both of them after previously denying any physical contact.
Ramadan, a well-known TV commentator, has strongly denied accusations that he raped the women in hotel rooms as an attempted smear by his opponents.
His lawyer Emmanuel Marsigny said the Swiss academic had changed his account of what happened on the basis of text messages that have emerged between him and his two accusers.
The messages "show that the plaintiffs lied and that the sexual encounters were wanted, consensual and even sought again afterwards", Marsigny said.
The unearthing of these messages "has allowed him to acknowledge that he had sexual relations" with the women, Marsigny said.
Ramadan, accused of raping the women in 2009 and 2012, has been in custody since February 2.
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