Rwanda: "Hotel Rwanda" hero absent at opening of appeal trial

3 months ago 3156

The hotelkeeper whose story inspired the film "Hotel Rwanda" failed to appear on Monday before the court for his appeal trial in the Rwandan capital, Kigali.

Paul Rusesabagina was found guilty in September of involvement with armed group National Liberation Front. The group is accused of carrying out deadly attacks in Rwanda in 2018 and 2019.

The former hotelkeeper was initiallly accused of terrorism and sentenced to 25 years in prison. The Rwandan prosecutor's office has appealed against the sentences handed to all 21 defendants.

The Rwandan judicial authorities want the sentences to be extended.

In a statement published last Friday, the defendant's family announced that he would not be appearing in court on Monday.

Paul Rusesabagina is an opponent of Rwanda president, Paul Kagamé, whom he accuses of authoritarianism and fuelling anti-Hutu sentiment.

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