Prosecutors appeal judgment against 'Hotel Rwanda' hero

The National Public Prosecution Authority is appealing the rulings against Paul Rusesabagina, a staunch critic of President Paul Kagame, and 20 co-defendants, spokesman Faustin Nkusi told AFP.

FILE: In this file photo taken on 25 September 2020 'Hotel Rwanda' hero Paul Rusesabagina (R) in the pink inmate's uniform arrives from the Nyarugenge prison with Rwanda Correctional Service officers at the Nyarugenge Court of Justice in Kigali, Rwanda. Picture: Simon Wohlfahrt /AFP.

KIGALI - Rwandan prosecutors said on Wednesday they have filed an appeal against a court ruling that sentenced Hotel Rwanda hero Paul Rusesabagina to 25 years in prison on terrorism charges.

The National Public Prosecution Authority is appealing the rulings against Rusesabagina, a staunch critic of President Paul Kagame, and 20 co-defendants, spokesman Faustin Nkusi told AFP.

Rusesabagina, 67, and his fellow accused were convicted and sentenced on September 20 after a trial that rights groups and his supporters had branded a sham.

At the time, chief prosecutor Aimable Havugiyaremye told reporters the prosecution was "not happy with the verdict because all the accused got lesser sentences than what the prosecutors had prescribed".

Prosecutors had sought a sentence of life in prison for Rusesabagina, the former hotel manager who was accused of backing a rebel group blamed for a spate of attacks in Rwanda in 2018 and 2019.

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