Court upholds 25-year sentence for ‘Hotel Rwanda’ hero
Prosecutors were seeking life imprisonment for the ‘Hotel Rwanda’ hero who was arrested in August 2020.
Rwanda’s Court of Appeal on Monday upheld a 25-year prison term against “Hotel Rwanda” hero Paul Rusesabagina, who was convicted last year on charges of “terrorism”, rejecting a prosecution appeal to increase the penalty to life.
“Since he is a first-time offender, the court finds that his sentence should not be increased, because the 25 years he was given is in accordance with the weight of his crimes, and the court maintains his sentence,” said Judge Francois Regis Rukundakuvuga.
The case has had a high profile since Rusesabagina, 67, was arrested in August 2020 after what he described as a kidnapping from Dubai by Rwandan authorities.
Rusesabagina worked as the manager of the Hotel des Mille Collines in Kigali and helped shelter Hutu and Tutsi refugees there during the Rwandan genocide in 1994.
He was accused of supporting an armed wing of his opposition political platform, the Rwandan Movement for Democratic Change. The group had claimed some responsibility for attacks in 2018 and 2019 in the south of the country in which nine Rwandans died.