A Rwandan court on Monday found Paul Rusesabagina, a one-time hotel manager portrayed as a hero in a Hollywood film about the 1994 genocide, guilty of being responsible for terrorist attacks.
In her judgement judge Beatrice Mukamurenzi said “They should be found guilty for being part of this terror group – MRCD-FLN”
“They attacked people in their homes, or even in their cars on the road travelling.”
Rusesabagina, 67, who criticised President Paul Kagame from exile after being portrayed by actor Don Cheadle in the movie ‘Hotel Rwanda’, had denied all the charges and said he was abducted from Dubai to stand trial. President Kagame has dismissed the widespread condemnation of the terrorism trial of Rusesabagina.
His sympathisers have declared the trial a sham, and proof of President Kagame’s brutal mistreatment of political adversaries.
Rusesabagina became a global celebrity after the 2004 film depicted him risking his life to shelter hundreds as the boss of a luxury hotel in the Rwandan capital Kigali, during the 100-day genocide when Hutu ethnic extremists killed more than 800,000 people, mostly of Tutsi minority group.
Rusesabagina used his fame to highlight what he described as rights violations by the government of Kagame, a Tutsi rebel commander who took power after his forces captured Kigali and halted the genocide.
Rusesabagina’s trial began in February, six months after he was arrested on arrival in Kigali on a flight from Dubai.
Human Rights Watch said at the time that his arrest amounted to an enforced disappearance, which it called a serious violation of international law.
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