Politics

Man who inspired Hotel Rwanda tells judges he was ‘kidnapped’

Kigali, Feb 17 (efe-epa).- The man who inspired the film Hotel Rwanda about the African nation’s 1994 genocide on Wednesday told judges at the opening session of his trial for terrorism charges that he had been “kidnapped” and that the court proceedings against him were illegal.

Paul Rusesabagina, who helped save hundreds of Tutsis while he was manager of the Hotel Des Milles Collines, was arrested under mysterious circumstances at Kigali International Airport in late August. His last contact with his family before his arrest came after he arrived in Dubai but Rwandan authorities have yet to divulge how the defendant ended up in Rwanda.

The fierce critic of long-serving Rwandan president Paul Kagame denies the nine terrorism-related charges filed against him for his alleged support of the National Liberation Front (FNL) rebel group and briefly addressed judges from the High Court Chamber for International Crimes during the session, which was held in the Supreme Court building in Kigali.

“I am not Rwandan, I am Belgian citizen. I am being wrongly tried, since I was kidnapped and brought to Rwanda against my will, let my lawyers explain more,” he said.

The judge replied: “Does that mean a person who has committed crimes in Rwandan territory cannot be tried locally?”

Another 20 members of the FLN, accused of being linked to attacks in 2018, were also on trial. Rusesabagina’s family say he was illegally disappeared and kidnapped from Dubai and taken to Kigali. EFE-EPA

cn/jt

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