Rwandan opposition leader’s trial due in 30 days


An opponent of Rwandan President Paul Kagame will go on trial in 30 days, an official said and authorities are seeking Western help in investigating another critic who was portrayed in the movie “Hotel Rwanda”.

Opposition leader Victoire Ingabire was denied bail for a second time after being arrested and charged in October with helping to form the Coalition of Democratic Forces, a militant group based in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She was also charged with threatening national security and public order.
“The court case is scheduled to begin in 30 days following today’s ruling,” Augustin Nkusi, spokesman of the National Public Prosecution Authority, said in a statement.

Kagame, who won a landslide election victory in August, is a favourite with foreign donors, but critics say his reputation has been damaged by reports of repression at home, Reuters reports.

Rwanda’s Prosecutor General, Martin Ngoga, told Reuters that authorities were seeking help from the United States and Belgium in investigating Paul Rusesabagina whose story was told in the 2004 movie “Hotel Rwanda”.

Rusesabagina was a hotel manager during Rwanda’s 1994 genocide, when he used his connections with the ethnic Hutu elite to protect Tutsis and moderate Hutus fleeing militiamen.

Rusesabagina, who tours Western countries lecturing on the genocide, is an outspoken critic of Kagame, saying an ethnic Tutsi elite now runs the central African country and risks reigniting violence there.
“We continue to pursue additional information on suspects outside Rwanda and are getting good signs of cooperation from their host countries,” Ngoga said.
“Those being investigated include Paul Rusesabagina. We have been in contact with American authorities and are now also in contact with the authorities in Belgium where Rusesabagina currently resides,” Ngoga added.

Ngoga told Reuters on Wednesday that Rwandan courts would summon Rusesabagina because investigations indicated he also funded the militant activities that Ingabire is being held for.

Rusesabagina told CNN from Brussels in late October the accusations against him were baseless.