Paul Rusesabagina of ‘Hotel Rwanda’ celebrity convicted of terrorism-related charges

The judge, reading the verdict on Monday, said: “The court also finds that they were in this group very aware that they were committing terrorist acts, they wanted the terrorist acts to be committed and this is demonstrated by the work that “they committed during this period. political party. They formed the FLN, an illegal armed group, which attacked Rwanda in 2018 and 2019 and even after that they bragged about it in various announcements and videos,” he said. declared the judge.

The 66-year-old was first arrested in August 2020 and faces nine charges, including terrorist financing, murder as an act of terrorism, formation of an irregular armed group and membership in a terrorist group, among others. Rusesabagina became known for saving hundreds of Rwandans during the country’s genocide by accommodating them in the hotel he managed. Her story was adapted into the Hollywood movie “Hotel Rwanda”, starring Don Cheadle and Sophie Okonedo.

During the trial – which was heard by Rwanda’s High Court for International and Cross-border Crimes – Rwandan President Paul Kagame’s outspoken critic told the court he wanted to be labeled a Belgian citizen and said he had been kidnapped by the Rwandan. authorities, who have no jurisdiction to judge him.

Upon hearing the verdict, his daughter, Carine Kanimba, told CNN that all of her father’s basic human rights have been violated by the Rwandan government. “We knew there would never be a fair trial for my father, and now the world knows it too. If the United States, Belgium and others believe in human rights, they must intervene now to free our father.”

The verdict is still being read.

Geoffrey Robertson QC, TrialWatch expert for the Clooney Foundation for Justice, told CNN the trial was not fair.

“This was a show trial, rather than a fair judicial inquiry,” said Geoffrey Robertson QC, the Clooney Foundation for Justice’s TrialWatch expert on the case. “The evidence against him has been disclosed but not contested.”

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