Tag: Rusesabagina

Rwanda keeps ‘Hotel Rwanda’ hero Paul Rusesabagina in jail another 30 days

A court in Rwanda has ordered that Paul Rusesabagina, whose story inspired the film Hotel Rwanda, remain in detention for 30 more days to allow prosecutors to gather evidence ahead of his trial on terrorism-related charges.

Rusesabagina faces 13 offences that include financing terrorism, complicity in murder, recruiting child soldiers and forming a rebel group.

The Belgian citizen and US permanent resident denies the charges. He faces a maximum of 25 years in prison if he is convicted.

Paul Rusesabagina, center, whose story inspired the film "Hotel Rwanda", is led out in handcuffs from the Kicukiro Primary Court in the capital Kigali, Rwanda Monday, Sept. 14, 2020
Paul Rusesabagina, center, whose story inspired the film “Hotel Rwanda”, is led out in handcuffs from the Kicukiro Primary Court in the capital Kigali, Rwanda Monday, Sept. 14, 2020 (AP)
A policeman handcuffs Paul Rusesabagina, right, whose story inspired the film "Hotel Rwanda", before leading him out of the Kicukiro Primary Court in the capital Kigali, Rwanda Monday, Sept. 14, 2020
A policeman handcuffs Paul Rusesabagina, right, whose story inspired the film “Hotel Rwanda”, before leading him out of the Kicukiro Primary Court in the capital Kigali, Rwanda Monday, Sept. 14, 2020 (AP)

He has been denied bail pending trial after going missing during a trip to Dubai and then appearing in handcuffs in Rwanda on August 31. The trial date has not been set.

His family has asserted that he was kidnapped, while Rwandan President Paul Kagame has indicated that he was tricked into boarding a plane to the East African nation.

His family and the legal team that seeks to meet and represent him have expressed concern about the 66-year-old’s health.

President Bush awards Paul Rusesabagina, who sheltered people at a hotel he managed during the 1994 Rwandan genocide, the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award in the East Room of the White House, in Washington (Photo: Nov, 2005)
President Bush awards Paul Rusesabagina, who sheltered people at a hotel he managed during the 1994 Rwandan genocide, the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award in the East Room of the White House, in Washington (Photo: Nov, 2005) (AP)

Judge Theodosie Mukarugira ruled that “the fact that he (Rusesabagina) is sick is not alone a ground to release him on bail.”

Rusesabagina’s family and supporters have described the upcoming trial as a sham, calling on Rwanda’s leadership to explain the circumstances under which he was brought to Rwanda. They say he is not able to speak freely.

Paul Rusesabagina, center, whose story inspired the film "Hotel Rwanda", wears a pink prison uniform as he appears for a bail hearing at a court in the capital Kigali, Rwanda Friday, Sept. 25, 2020
Paul Rusesabagina, center, whose story inspired the film “Hotel Rwanda”, wears a pink prison uniform as he appears for a bail hearing at a court in the capital Kigali, Rwanda Friday, Sept. 25, 2020 (AP)

“Rusesabagina is a Belgian citizen who was kidnapped and brought to Rwanda illegally. Before anything else happens in his trial, he should be allowed to talk to his independent lawyers that have been hired for him, not the lawyers the government has enforced on him,” Rusesabagina’s daughter Carine Kanimba told The Associated Press.

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Rwandan court denies “Hotel Rwanda” hero Rusesabagina bail, extends detention

By Clement Uwiringiyimana



a person wearing a pink shirt: Paul Rusesabagina, portrayed as a hero in a Hollywood movie about Rwanda's 1994 genocide, walks inside the courtroom in Kigali


© Reuters/CLEMENT UWIRINGIYIMANA
Paul Rusesabagina, portrayed as a hero in a Hollywood movie about Rwanda’s 1994 genocide, walks inside the courtroom in Kigali

KIGALI (Reuters) – A Rwandan court extended the detention of “Hotel Rwanda” hero Paul Rusesabagina on Friday pending trial on terrorism charges and denied him bail, the judge hearing the case said.

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Rusesabagina, a political dissident who has lived in exile in Belgium and the United States, was arrested in August after returning to the country and subsequently charged with terrorism and other offences.

“The fact that he is sick is not alone a ground to release him on bail,” Theodosie Mukarugira said in a ruling via Skype.

She said the detention would be extended by 30 days starting from Friday so that the prosecution can do more investigations.

At his first court appearance in September, Rusesabagina declined to take a plea on all 13 charges facing him, saying he wanted to plead on a charge by charge basis.

In the past hearings, he admitted sponsoring FLN, a rebel group that wanted to oust Kagame, but denied any wrongdoing.

Early this month, Rwanda’s top prosecutor said he would seek to merge the case of Paul Rusesabagina, with that of former rebels in state custody.

Rusesabagina, who says he was tricked into returning to Rwanda from abroad, has been denied his choice of defence lawyers, his family and their lawyer said in early October.

His defence team was appointed by the government of Rwanda, his family said.

(Reporting by Clement Uwiringiyimana; writing by George Obulutsa; Editing by Gareth Jones, William Maclean)

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Rwandan court denies ‘Hotel Rwanda’ hero Rusesabagina bail, extends detention

By Clement Uwiringiyimana

KIGALI (Reuters) – A Rwandan court extended the detention of “Hotel Rwanda” hero Paul Rusesabagina on Friday pending trial on terrorism charges and denied him bail, the judge hearing the case said.

Rusesabagina, a political dissident who has lived in exile in Belgium and the United States, was arrested in August after returning to the country and subsequently charged with terrorism and other offences.

“The fact that he is sick is not alone a ground to release him on bail,” Theodosie Mukarugira said in a ruling via Skype.

She said the detention would be extended by 30 days starting from Friday so that the prosecution can do more investigations.

At his first court appearance in September, Rusesabagina declined to take a plea on all 13 charges facing him, saying he wanted to plead on a charge by charge basis.

In the past hearings, he admitted sponsoring FLN, a rebel group that wanted to oust Kagame, but denied any wrongdoing.

Early this month, Rwanda’s top prosecutor said he would seek to merge the case of Paul Rusesabagina, with that of former rebels in state custody.

Rusesabagina, who says he was tricked into returning to Rwanda from abroad, has been denied his choice of defence lawyers, his family and their lawyer said in early October.

His defence team was appointed by the government of Rwanda, his family said.

(Reporting by Clement Uwiringiyimana; writing by George Obulutsa; Editing by Gareth Jones, William Maclean)

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