In April 1994 a plane carrying Rwanda’s President Juvenal Habyarimana – from the Hutu tribe – was shot down by a missile near the capital, Kigali. Hutu militants used it as an excuse to launch a genocide against the Tutsi minority, killing around 800,000 people.
Paul Rusesabagina – whose heroic stand against Hutu militants during the 1994 Rwanda genocide was made into a Hollywood film – appeared in court in Kigali on Monday, 14 September, accused of terrorist charges.
While living in the United States Rusesabagina co-founded and supported the opposition Rwandan Movement for Democratic Change (MRCD) but the government of President Kagame has accused him of supporting the National Liberation Front (FLN), an armed group which it claims is the military wing of the MRCD.
He is also accused of backing RUD-Uranana, an armed group which launched an attack across the border from the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2018.
But Rusesabagina’s lawyers David Rugaza and Emeline Nyembo have argued the court has no jurisdiction to try him because he is a Belgian national and was not extradited according to international law.
Rusesabagina arrived in Rwanda from the United Arab Emirates but his supporters say he was kidnapped with the connivance of the authorities there.
A UAE government official told CNN he had been sent to Rwanda legally but admitted there was no agreement between the Gulf state and Rwanda to extradite alleged criminals.
Ms Ndikumagenge, who is…