'Hotel Rwanda' hero to give evidence in extradition case

Andrew Johnson
Sunday 30 March 2008 03:39

A hero of the genocide in Rwanda whose story was immortalised in the film Hotel Rwanda will give evidence in a British court next week to try to stop the extradition of four men accused of crimes during the violence.

Paul Rusesabagina was credited with saving more than 1,000 lives during the outbreak of violence in 1994 in which more than a million people died. As manager of the Hotel des Mille Collines in the capital Kigali, he used his contacts to save Hutus and Tutsis. He has since become an outspoken critic of the government in Rwanda and now lives in Belgium.

On Thursday Mr Rusesabagina will tell Westminster magistrates that four accused men will not face a fair trial in Rwanda. Mr Rusesabagina told The Independent on Sunday: "The evidence I will give will be about the human rights situation in Rwanda. There are men who have been held in prison for 14 years without trial. When you are in prison in Rwanda it is up to your family to look after you. In the name of genocide everything is possible, and the government is able to lock up its potential or actual political opponents."

Frank Brazell, the solicitor for one of the accused men, Vincent Brown, said his client believed the charges against him were politically motivated.

"Mr Brown protests his innocence and has evidence in support of that. We are very concerned that he will not have a fair trial in Rwanda," he said.

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