The file of Paul Rusesabagina has been submitted by investigators to the National Public Prosecution Authority (NPPA), which is expected to prefer charges against the ‘Hotel Rwanda’ protagonist.
Rusesabagina is likely to face charges of terrorism, forming an illegal armed group and murder among other charges. Rwanda Investigations Bureau (RIB) on Wednesday handed over the file to NPPA, which is expected to announce the charges he will face in the next five days.
The Prosecutor General’s office said Rusesabagina is in good health and he is being questioned in regard to the alleged crimes he was wanted for.
“Today the Prosecutor General’s Office received from RIB the case file for Mr Paul Rusesabagina. The suspect is in good health, has received a consular visit & spoken to his family. He will be interrogated after which Prosecution will file the case in court for a pre-trial detention hearing,” NPPA said.
Rusesabagina, 66, whose arrest was announced by RIB on August 31, was at the Kimihirura NPPA headquarters, escorted by two lawyers David Rugaza and Emeline Nyembo, in an exercise which was attended by a small number of people.
The arrest of Rusesabagina was linked to his activities as the leader of Rwandan Movement for Democratic Change (MRCD), whose armed wing, National Liberation Forces (NLF) is behind attacks in South Western Rwanda between June 2018 and April 2019.
Rusesabagina, who on many occasions took responsibility for the attacks which claimed scores and injured many, is likely to face charges similar to those Callixte ‘Sankara’ Nsabimana, the NLF spokesperson who is answering at least 17 charges.
According to sources, the charges will most likely range from terrorism, treason, engaging in terrorism for political gain, involvement in terrorist activities, the issuance of instructions in terrorist activities, treason and incitement to commit terrorism, murder and intrusion of murder and kidnapping, among other charges.
Other charges may 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.
NLF carried out attacks in Nyaruguru, Nyamagabe, Rusizi and Nyamasheke districts, entering the country through Burundi, before they were repulsed by the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF).
On Sunday September 6, during an interview, President Paul Kagame brushed off concerns by some countries and individuals, who consider Rusesabagina a hero, pointing out that Rwanda is not concerned by his ‘hero’ status but it is rather interested in holding accountable for his actions.
President Kagame said that while Rusesabagina’s heroic acts remain debatable, Rwanda is only concerned with making his answerable for the attacks which affected many Rwandans in one way or another, which he openly owns up to, urging those accusing the Rwandan government of different things to first look up for videos of Rusesabagina.