Eswatini Daily News

Hotel Rwanda Hero Sentenced 25 Years For Terrorism Related Charges.

Rwanda: Paul Rusesabagina, Hotel Rwanda movie hero sentenced 25 years for terrorism related charges. He was convicted with his 20 co-accused, some of whom pleaded guilty.

Rusesabagina was accused of staging a rebellion against the Rwandan government and facing charges of terrorism, arson, taking hostages and forming an armed rebel group which he directed from abroad. In a 2018 YouTube video, Rusesabagina called for armed resistance, saying change could not be achieved by democratic means. He said “the time has come for us to use any means possible to bring about change.”

Evidence was obtained from phones and WhatsApp messages seized from his Brussels house during a search by Belgian authorities. The evidence revealed how Rusesabagina actively participated in planning terror attacks.

When delivering her judgement, Judge Beatrice Mukamurenzi said “Rusesabagina is guilty of being a member of a terror group and participating in terror activities.”

The Judge said, “We find Rusesabagina’s role in creating National Liberation Front, his provision of funds and purchasing for them secure phones to use all constitute crimes of terrorism,“ The Judge said “They attacked people in their homes, or even in their cars on the road travelling.”

Michael Rubin, a contributor to the Washington Examiner’s Beltway Confidential blog, summarizes the trial as follows: “The trial of Paul Rusesabagina, the hotelier made famous by Don Cheadle’s portrayal in the 2004 film Hotel Rwanda, began this week in Kigali. Hollywood made Rusesabagina a hero. Certainly, Rusesabagina did display heroism when he sheltered over a thousand Rwandans from a Hutu mob bent on their murder. But Rusesabagina’s actions a quarter-century ago cannot excuse his subsequent actions. As Bill Cosby, O.J. Simpson, and Robert Downey, Jr., have learned, Hollywood fame is not a free pass to break the law. The terrorism and murder charges against Rusesabagina are real, and Rusesabagina’s own words are the most damning evidence against him. Ambition and arrogance can be a noxious mix.”

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