Arusha, March 10, 2010 (FH) - Judges at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) have turned down a request from genocide accused Rwandan former politician Joseph Nzirorera to order the hearing of Paul Rusesabagina, hero of the movie Hotel Rwanda.

0 min 57Approximate reading time

During the 1994 genocide Rusesabagina, a Hutu, was the general manager of the Hotel des Mille Collines in Kigali where more than 1,200 Tutsis and moderate Hutus sought refuge to escape massacres.

A blockbuster called Hotel Rwanda, which narrated this story, was released in December 2004. It was nominated for three Oscars and won twelve prizes all over the world.

Paul  Rusesabagina now lives in exile in Europe where he is a militant of the Rwandan opposition to President Paul Kagame's regime. Kigali claims that he is not a hero but an impostor.

In a ruling dated February 22, the Chamber found that Rusesabagina's hearing is not an absolute necessity for Nzirorera's defence.

The defence asserted that Rusesabagina would have refuted allegations that weapons were given to Interahamwe militiamen on April 9, 1994, at the Hotel des Diplomates in the presence of the accused.

The court also notes in its decision that Nzirorera is calling six other witnesses to refute this accusation and that two other witnesses have already done the same.

Nzirorera, a civil engineer, is charged with genocide and crimes against humanity. He pleads not guilty.

Nzirorera is being jointly tried with two other former MRND leaders:   former MRND President Mathieu Ngirumpatse, and his erstwhile deputy Edouard Karemera.


© Hirondelle News Agency