She is one of the most anonymous plaintiffs involved in the case. In fact, her anonymity gave rise to a flurry of speculation in the French press about the real identity of “Christelle,” the second woman to file a complaint against Tariq Ramadan, which she did on October 26, 2017. “Christelle”, in reality Paule-Emma A., was born in 1972 in Gennevilliers; she attempted to launch a political career, running in France’s 2012 general elections in the city of Montpellier’s ninth constituency. There she represented ‘Debout la France,’ (“Stand up, France”) a marginal right-wing part party led by Nicolas Dupont-Aignan. She was 40 years old at the time of her unsuccessful attempt to win election to the National Assembly.
In 2017, after setting up the “Patriotic Woman” web site, Paule-Emma A. launched “Women with Marine”, a website that supported Marine Le Pen, the National Front leader, later renamed “French Woman” on which she regularly posts articles about Tariq Ramadan.
How ‘vulnerable’ was she at the time of the alleged events?
On March 15, on the “C à Vous” talk show on France 5 television, Tariq Ramadan’s lawyer, Emmanuel Marsigny, deplored the fact that some consider “as an established truth the accusations against Ramadan even though they are fraught with lies and untruths”. In particular, he challenged Paule-Emma A.’s disability at the time of the alleged events.
The plaintiff first related her version of the story to a journalist from Vanity Fair and shortly afterward, to French news channel LCI. She accuses Tariq Ramadan of having raped her, during the alleged events in October 2009, while she was using crutches and a splint; she claims to have received many extremely violence blows. However, the medical documents recovered by the police do not confirm her claims, and would even invalidate them. The medical certificate reports only a “suspicion” of STD and an acute case of hemorrhoids. According to her medical record, she was suffering at the time from algodystrophy of the ankle, a bone condition that was diagnosed only a year later, in November 2010 by Dr. Sautier. Paule-Emma A. nevertheless declared during the investigation that “algodystrophy is very difficult to diagnose” and that her case would have been “diagnosed with certainty in 2009.”
At the time, the plaintiff told the investigators that she was living in the city of Vienne (Isère) and indicated that she did not remember the doctors she consulted. Investigators regularly return to this crucial issue for a specific reason: if convicted for “rape of a vulnerable person”, Tariq Ramadan would face a twenty-year prison sentence instead of ten for rape.
© Picture Vanity Fair
“We’ll bring down his political career our own way”
The investigating magistrate recently questioned paule-Emma A. One of the new elements the judge questioned her about was a conversation dating from October 24, 2009. Paule-Emma A. has declared that she met Caroline Fourest for the first time on November 15, 2009, a day before the debate between Tariq Ramadan and the essayist (Fourest). Three weeks earlier, on Skype, Paule-Emma A. chats informally with a friend named Denise W., about Tariq Ramadan…
[24.10.2009 15:39:06] Denise: what is your plan?
[24.10.2009 15:39:12] Paule-Emma: I can’t say…
[24.10.2009 15:39:13] Paule-Emma: Sorry
[24.10.2009 15:39:26] Denise: I think we should get together and talk with Fourest (author of “Frère Tariq” [“Brother Tariq”], ed.)
[24.10.2009 15:39:27] Paule-Emma: for that I have to go it alone but I’m gathering whatever I need…
[24.10.2009 15:43:53] Denise: what do you think about contacting Fourest?
[24.10.2009 15:44:00] Paule-Emma: I’m planning on it
[24.10.2009 15:44:06] Denise: she’ll be debating him in November
[24.10.2009 15:44:07] Paule-Emma: she’s part of my plan
Two days later, the conversation continues…
[26.10.2009 09:28:39] Paule-Emma: Caroline Fourest answered me
[26.10.2009 09:28:56] Denise: hello!
[26.10.2009 09:29:26] Denise: Well, me too, this morning!
[26.10.2009 09:29:31] Paule-Emma: lol
[26.10.2009 09:29:38] Paule-Emma: she does not want to attack him in this way
[26.10.2009 09:29:56] Denise: I understand
[26.10.2009 09:30:48] Paule-Emma: but we’ll bring down his political career our own way lol
These revelations show that the investigation is more complex than we imagined. The judges continue to hear the many actors involved in this affair after the investigations have raised doubts about several declarations.