Home International Rwanda court finds ‘Hotel Rwanda’ film hero guilty on terror charges.

Rwanda court finds ‘Hotel Rwanda’ film hero guilty on terror charges.

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[Paul Rusesabagina in the pink inmate's uniform arrives from the Nyarugenge prison. Photo/Courtesy]

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 part of a group responsible for terrorist attacks.

He was accused of supporting an armed wing of his opposition political platform, the Rwandan Movement for Democratic Change. The group had claimed some responsibility for attacks in 2018 and 2019 in the south of the country in which nine Rwandans died.

The case has had a high profile since Rusesabagina, 67, was arrested in August 2020 after what he described as a kidnapping from Dubai by Rwandan authorities.

Rusesabagina boycotted Monday’s verdict after declaring he did not expect justice in a trial he called a “sham”.

“He founded a terrorist organisation that attacked Rwanda, he financially contributed to terrorist activities,” Justice Beatrice Mukamurenzi said of Rusesabagina.

Rusesabagina became a global celebrity after the film, which 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 from the Tutsi minority.