A Rwandan appeal court on Monday upheld a 25-year jail sentence for Paul Rusesabagina on eight terrorism charges related to the activities of an organisation opposed to President Paul Kagame’s rule.
He was portrayed in the movie “Hotel Rwanda” sheltering hundreds of people during the 1994 genocide.
The subject of the Hollywood movie who denied all the charges and boycotted court proceedings since March 2021, said they were unfair and was not in court in Kigali on Monday to hear the decision.
Rusesabagina acknowledged having a leadership role in the Rwanda Movement for Democratic Change (MRCD), but denied responsibility for attacks carried out by its armed wing, the National Liberation Front (FLN). The trial judges said the two groups were indistinguishable.
Rusesabagina was tricked into a private jet from Dubai to Kigali in August 2020, arrested and paraded to media before the trial against him.
The prosecution had requested that his sentence be increased to life in prison but this was rejected. Judge Emmanuel Kamere said the 25-year sentence is “equal to the severity of the crime he committed.”
Rusesabagina, 67 is being held in a Rwandan prison.