‘I am a hostage,’ says ‘Hotel Rwanda’ hero as terrorism trial begins in Kigali
According to the prosecution, the 66-year-old was first arrested in August 2020 and faced nine charges including financing of terrorism, murder as an act of terrorism, formation of an irregular armed group and membership of a terrorist group.
During the trial – which was heard by Rwanda’s High Court Chamber for International and Cross-Border Crime – an outspoken critic of Rwanda president Paul Kagame told the court he referred to a Belgian citizen kidnapped by Rwandan authorities Want to be, those who have. No jurisdiction to try it.
“I am a Belgian citizen. I am just here as a hostage,” said Rossesabagina, who renounced his Rwandan citizenship in 1996 when he fled Belgium from Rwanda.
“When I came to Belgium, I handed over my Rwandan passport and national identity card. I immediately stopped being Rwanda, but instead you would call an orphan under the supervision of the United Nations,” continued Roussabina, ordering the court. Urged to give. Back to Belgium for his test to face the test there.
Wednesday’s trial marked the first joint hearing of Rusebagina and her co-accused after pleading by the prosecution last year to tie the case to a single trial for all those who claim that 2018 and In 2019, there are two military attacks on the country’s Nyangwe National Parks.
Rwandan officials have denied the allegations of Ribasbina’s kidnapping, while prosecutors have stated that the defendants originally remain Rwandans and should be tried in Rwanda on the grounds that the charges have been leveled against them , They are committed against Rwanda in Rwanda, thus their courts have jurisdiction over them.
Other suspects at this hearing include Calixet Nasibimana – also known as Sankara – and Harman Nsengimana; According to prosecutors, both are associated with the National Liberation Front (FLN) militia wing of the Rwanda Movement for Democratic Change Opposition Group (MRCD).
Prosecutors told the court that Rusabagina was the head of the MRDC alliance and in charge of diplomacy for the opposing group.
The case has been adjourned until 26 February, when the court is expected to decide on the objections of the jurisdiction presented by Rusebagina and his lawyer.
During the genocide in the country, Rusabagina rose to prominence to save hundreds of Rwandans, sheltering them in the hotels they built. His story was played in the Hollywood film “Hotel Rwanda” starring Don Cheidle and Sophie Okonido.
Rusebagina and his supporters said for a long time that he became the target of Rwandan President Paul Kagame’s government after continued criticism of the government and the operation of the Rwandan Patriot Front in ending the genocide in 1994. The massacre killed about 800,000 toots and moderate Hutus. , Which was led by Hutu extremists.
He is the recipient of several human rights awards for his efforts during the genocide, including the US Presidential Medal in 2005 and the Human Rights Award in 2011 by the Lantos Foundation.