Paul Rusesabagina, the ‘Hotel Rwanda’ hero who became a fierce government critic, was found guilty on Monday on terror charges and sentenced to 25 years in prison after what his supporters say was a politically motivated show trial.
The 67-year-old was convicted of backing a rebel group blamed for deadly gun, grenade and arson attacks in Rwanda in 2018 and 2019.
‘Rusesabagina is guilty of being a member of a terror group and participating in terror activities,’ judge Beatrice Mukamurenzi said. ‘His act of terrorism led to death.’
‘He founded a terrorist organisation that attacked Rwanda, he financially contributed to terrorist activities,’ the judge added.
Rwandan prosecutors have sought a life sentence for Rusesabagina, the former hotelier credited with saving hundreds of lives during the 1994 genocide, and whose actions inspired the Hollywood film.
Neither he nor his lawyers were in court for the verdict, although the 20 other defendants in the case attended.
Rusesabagina, who used his fame to denounce Rwandan leader Paul Kagame as a dictator, was arrested in August 2020 when a plane he believed was bound for Burundi landed instead in the Rwandan capital Kigali.
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Source: Daily Mail