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'Hotel Rwanda hero' appears in Rwandan court amid tight security

Credit: REUTERS/Clement Uwiringiyimana

Paul Rusesabagina, portrayed as a hero in a Hollywood movie about Rwanda's 1994 genocide, appeared in a Rwandan court amid tight security on Monday, where prosecutors are expected to formally charge him and hear his plea.

By Clement Uwiringiyimana

KIGALI, Sept 14 (Reuters) - Paul Rusesabagina, portrayed as a hero in a Hollywood movie about Rwanda's 1994 genocide, appeared in a Rwandan court amid tight security on Monday, where prosecutors are expected to formally charge him and hear his plea.

The Rwanda Investigation Bureau had previously said he would face several charges including "terrorism, financing terrorism ... arson, kidnap and murder".

Rwandan police have said that Rusesabagina - who called for armed resistance to the government in a YouTube video - was arrested on an international warrant. His family dispute that and say he was kidnapped from Dubai.

The former hotel manager was portrayed in the Oscar-nominated film 'Hotel Rwanda' using his job and his connections with the Hutu elite to protect Tutsis fleeing the slaughter. He later acquired Belgian citizenship and became resident in the United States.

Rusesabagina has lived in exile since 1996, and is a strong critic of President Paul Kagame's government. Kagame enjoys widespread credit for returning Rwanda to stability after the genocide and boosting economic growth, but his rule has been tainted by accusations of widespread repression.

(Reporting by Clement Uwiringiyimana; Writing by Katharine Houreld; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Toby Chopra)

((katharine.houreld@thomsonreuters.com; + 254 796 142 176;))

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