Rwandan hero of 'Hotel Rwanda' fame and saviour of hundreds of lives, convicted of terrorism charges

Paul Rusesabagina angered the Rwandan government by using the Hollywood limelight to crusade for political change in his tightly controlled homeland
Paul Rusesabagina angered the Rwandan government by using the Hollywood limelight to crusade for political change in his tightly controlled homeland NICOLAS MAETERLINCK BELGA/AFP/File

A Rwandan court on Monday found Paul Rusesabagina, a former hotel manager credited with saving the lives of hundreds of people during the 1994 Rwandan genocide, guilty on terrorism charges.

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"They should be found guilty for being part of this terror group – MRCD-FLN," said Judge Beatrice Mukamurenzi.

"They attacked people in their homes, or even in their cars on the road travelling," she added.

Rusesabagina’s story of saving people being hunted down during the genocide by sheltering them in the hotel he worked in, became a major motion picture, with Don Cheadle playing him.

During the Rwandan Genocide, Rwandans killed 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus over a period of less than 100 days.

Rusesabagina, 67, had criticised President Paul Kagame from exile in the past.

He had denied all the charges and said he was kidnapped from Dubai to stand trial.

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