Paul Rusesabagine, a Rwandan who remains a “hugely controversial figure” where his status as a rescue hero in 1994 in the famous ‘Hotel Rwanda’movie has been contested has been indicted on charges ranging from terrorism, treason, engaging in terrorism for political gain, a judicial source confirmed Friday.Among other charges facing the controversial hero of ‘Hotel Rwanda’movie who was deported recently to Rwanda include spreading false information or propaganda aimed at undermining the Rwandan government abroad, denying genocide, armed robbery, arson and engaging with the foreign government to cause war, among other crimes..
Rusesabagina ‘s case was handed over to the Prosecution General in Kigali for review and prosecution is yet to concludd its investigation, it said.
Since he fled the country shortly after the genocide in 1994, the former hotel manager became a fierce critic of the Rwandan government.
While in exile, he founded the Rwandan Movement for Democratic Change (MRCD) and continued to blame Kagame for muzzling the opposition.
Kagame’s administration accused his MRCD of acts of terrorism.
Born in June 1954 in Ruhango, a rural district in southern Rwanda, where attended primary and secondary schools in neighbouring Gitwe, Rusesabagina moved to Kigali where he got employed at ‘Hotel des Diplomates’ before being promoted to the position of manager until the genocide was sparked by the death of then President Juvenal Habyarimana, a Hutu, when his plane was shot down above Kigali airport on 6 April 1994.
The then Belgian airline Sabena owned another hotel des ‘Mille Collines’ at the time of the genocide and when the European managers were evacuated Rusesabagina, manager of the smaller Hôtel des Diplomates at the time, was made manager.
During the 1000-day genocide (April to July 1994), the four star hotel continued to operate with 112 rooms, a bar/café, three conference rooms, a restaurant, and the now famous swimming pool where Rusesabagina was alleged to have bribed genocidaire militia and senior officers of the defeated Rwandan Armed Forces (ex-FAR) with money and alcohol to keep them from killing Tutsis seeking refuge in the hotel.
After ‘Hotel Rwanda’ had shot him to international fame, some genocide survivors disputed Rusesabagina’s account of rescuing them from imminent slaughter.
Some still claimed he only saved them because they had managed to bribe him.