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Court Throws Out Rusesabagina’s Bail Appeal

The appeals Court in Kigali has ruled against the appeal of bail application for humanitarian Paul Rusesabagina whose heroic acts of saving 1200 people during the Rwandan Genocide were depicted in the movie Hotel Rwanda.

Rusesabagina who faces 13 charges including Terrorism, Arson, and Robbery among others was challenging the decision by the lower court that ruled that he is held in maximum security prison for 30 days as investigations into his alleged crimes are concluded.

The presiding Judge Adolph Udahemuka overruled that reasons advanced by the defence team challenging decisions by the lower court.

Among the reasons Rusesabagina’s defence had given included the lower court that remanded him having no jurisdiction, him not being a Rwandan but a Belgian, medical grounds among others.

“Much as the principle in criminal procedure is that a suspect must be tried while out of custody, there are parameters set in which a suspect may be remanded, the fact that Rusesabagina claims to be Belgian and not Rwanda is reason to believe he’s a flight risk,” Judge Udahemuka ruled.

On being released on medical grounds the judge said “We considered the suspect’s own admission that he has not run into any complications regarding medical attention while in custody and has had access to medical personnel.”

Reacting to the ruling, his lawyer said they were not pleased but had little to do.

“We are certainly not happy with the ruling but unfortunately we can’t appeal against this ruling. However, we shall continue pushing for his release as we prepare for the substantive phase of the trial,” his lawyer Emeline Nyembo.

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In a press conference on Thursday Resesabigina’s family insisted he is illegally jailed in Kigali and called on the Rwanda government to release him.

“Paul Rusesabagina never created any armed group, the admission he is making is due to torture which has forced him to,” his daughter Carine Kanimba said.

However, authorities in Rwanda maintain that his arrest was legal and he was arrested at Kigali international Airport.

 

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