A Rwandan court on Monday found a former hotel manager, who became a hero in a Hollywood film about the 1994 genocide, Paul Rusesabagina guilty of terrorism.
Rusesabagina and 20 of his co-accused face life sentences on the nine charges, which include terrorism, arson, taking hostages, and forming an armed rebel group, which he directed from abroad. Sentencing is expected later on Monday.
Rusesabagina has acknowledged membership in the Rwanda Movement for Democratic Change (MRCD), a group opposed to Paul Kagame’s rule but denied responsibility for violence carried out by its armed wing, the National Liberation Front.
Others facing trial alongside him include Callixte Nsabimana, popularly known as Sankara, who was a spokesperson for the National Liberation Front. Rusesabagina, who has refused to take part in the trial was not in court, just like in the previous months.
The 2004 film depicted him risking his life to shelter hundreds of people as manager of a hotel in Kigali during the genocide. In a video posted on YouTube in 2018, Rusesabagina called for armed resistance, saying the change could not be achieved by democratic means.