'Hotel Rwanda' Inspiration Paul Rusesabagina Found Guilty of Terror-Related Offenses

Per the AP, Rusesabagina called the trial a ”sham“

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Paul Rusesabagina, the man who waved over 1,200 people from genocide and inspired “Hotel Rwanda,” was found guilty of terror-related offenses, the Associated Press reported Monday. He was charged with 20 other people and, the outlet said, boycotted the announcement and said he didn’t expect justice, calling the trial a “sham.”

Per the AP, he’s been convicted of forming an illegal armed group, being a member of a terrorist group and financing a terror group. There is yet no verdict on other charges of murder, abduction and armed robbery as an act of terrorism.

Rusesabagina is accused of supporting the armed wing of his opposition political platform, Rwandan Movement for Democratic Change. He disappeared last year while visiting Dubai, but reappeared in Rwanda and was charged. The AP noted that he has maintained his innocence and his family says he was kidnapped and brought to the country against his will, though the court says he was not kidnapped, but tricked into boarding a chartered flight.

The Rwandan Movement for Democratic Change has claimed some responsibility for 2018 and 2019 attacks that left nine dead.

He was implicated in a terrorism case in 2010, too, six years after “Hotel Rwanda” told the story of how he used his connections with the Hutu elite to protect Tutsis and moderate Hutus fleeing militiamen during the country’s 1994 genocide. As the movie, starring Don Cheadle, shows, he was a hotel manager at the time. Former president George W. Bush gave him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005. He was accused in 2010 of funding terrorism activities and was implicated in the case against Rwandan opposition leader Victoire Ingabire.

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