Paul Rusesabagina arrives at a court in Kigali, Rwanda, on Feb. 17, 2021. Photo Xinhua


Rwanda's Supreme Court on Wednesday started a trial against Paul Rusesabagina for 13 charges including financing terrorism and forming armed groups.

Rusesabagina appeared before the court in Kigali alongside 20 other co-accused, including Callixte Nsabimana, the former commander of the National Liberation Force (NLF).

The 66-year-old during a pre-trial hearing had admitted to financing this group but denied involvement in the crimes it committed.

During his first trial, he questioned the jurisdiction of the Rwandan court over his Belgian citizenship and requested the court, through his lawyer, to send him back to Belgium to stand trial there, while the prosecution said the foreign citizenship is not immune from the trial in Rwanda's court as long as he committed crimes on the Rwandan territory and asked Rusesabagina to produce evidence that he legally renounced the Rwandan nationality.

Rusesabagina was made famous by the film "Hotel Rwanda," where he was portrayed to have saved over 1,000 ethnic victims during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, which claimed over one million lives. However, survivors and experts disputed the authenticity of his actual role during the genocide.

Until his arrest, Rusesabagina had long been living overseas and was the subject of an international arrest warrant for alleged terrorism, arson, kidnap and murder, perpetrated against civilians on Rwandan territory.

Nsabimana in the court confessed that he and Rusesabagina launched the NLF together. The judge adjourned the case to February 26. - teleSUR