Chief Lawyer at Rwanda Hotel Has Evidence: ‘Kidnapped on the Orders of President Kagame’

Chief Lawyer at Rwanda Hotel Has Evidence: 'Kidnapped on the Orders of President Kagame'

Paul Rosabagina. © AP

Paul Russabjina, a Belgian Rwandan known for the movie “Hotel Rwanda”, has been kidnapped to Kigali on the orders of Rwandan President Paul Kagame. Rosebagena’s Belgian lawyer, Vincent Lorquin, presented an invoice at a news conference on Wednesday for the private flight on which the former hotel boss was kidnapped, against his will, from Dubai to Kigali. That invoice was sent to the address of the Rwandan presidency.

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Since August 2020, Rusabagina has been imprisoned in Rwanda after being kidnapped in the country. The 67-year-old was invited to Burundi, but in fact the trick was to take him to Rwanda: he was flown from Dubai to Kigali on a private plane.

Complaints have been lodged against this implementation in Brussels and the United States. An investigative judge in Brussels went to Athens, the airline’s headquarters, and found a bill for a special flight from Athens to Dubai, from Dubai to Kigali, and finally from Kigali to Athens, at the same time that Rossabagina was kidnapped. Lurquin was able to obtain this bill through the American investigation.

The bill, worth 120,000 euros, was sent to the Rwandan presidency in Kigali, a testament to Lourquin’s commitment at the highest level.

Earlier this month, the Rwandan Court of Appeals upheld Rosabagina’s 25-year prison sentence for terrorism. Rsabagina, who is known to be a fierce opponent of Kagame, was sentenced in September to 25 years in prison for “creating and belonging to” the National Liberation Front, an armed group accused of carrying out deadly attacks in Rwanda in 2018. and 2019.

On Wednesday, his entourage confirmed that Rospagina did not receive a fair trial. Secretary of State Sophie Velmis also spoke in similar terms after the conviction.

These new discoveries come a week after the United Kingdom announced it was planning to send asylum seekers to Rwanda. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “People who try to avoid the waiting list or who abuse our system will not automatically be able to settle in our country, but will be humanely and swiftly returned to a safe third country or their country of origin.” The plan is believed to undermine the business model of people smugglers.

Soon there was strong criticism from NGOs, who pointed out, among other things, the dubious human rights situation in the African country. According to Johnson, Rwanda is “one of the safest countries in the world, and is internationally recognized for its track record of hosting and integrating migrants”.

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