Kigali Paid For Hotel Rwanda 'hero' Flight

Kigali paid for Hotel Rwanda 'hero' flight

Nairobi, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 27th Feb, 2021 ) :Rwandan Justice Minister Johnston Busingye said in an interview broadcast Friday that Kigali had paid for the plane that brought the polarising hero of the hit movie "Hotel Rwanda" to be arrested and tried in his home country.

A critic of Rwandan President Paul Kagame since moving to live abroad, 66-year-old Paul Rusesabagina appeared in Kigali under arrest in mysterious circumstances last August, and is now on trial for charges including terrorism.

"The government paid" to fly Rusesabagina in, Busingye told Al-Jazeera's UpFront programme, produced in the US.

"There is a person who was operating with Rusesabagina for a long time, who was an interest of our public criminal investigation department, who accepted to turn him in and the payment was to facilitate the plan of this man to transport Rusesabagina to Rwanda," he added.

The former manager of the Mille Collines hotel in Kigali, scene of the film recounting how he saved more than 1,000 people during Rwanda's 1994 genocide, Rusesabagina later moved to the US and Belgium, where he was naturalised.

But he was arrested in Rwanda in late August as he disembarked from a plane that had taken off from Dubai which he had believed was bringing him to Burundi, in what his lawyers called a "kidnapping".

"The government did not play a role in transporting him. It was facilitating this gentleman who wanted to bring him to Rwanda," minister Busingye said.

"In international criminal law, luring people into places where they can be brought to justice has happened and happened in many jurisdictions," he added.

In a statement, the justice ministry confirmed that the country "facilitated the journey" that brought the accused to Rwanda and insisted that "his rights were not violated at any point" in the "legal" arrest.

It also said that a segment of the Al-Jazeera programme in which the minister is seen discussing with his advisors the interception of Rusesabagina's private communications -- which the broadcaster said was shown in error -- "does not reflect the government's position".

The man who had tricked Rusesabagina into travelling has not been named, but he has been identified as a former "accomplice".

Rusesabagina faces nine charges, including terrorism, especially for alleged support for the National Liberation Front (FLN) rebel group believed to have carried out deadly attacks in recent years.