Prosecutors challenge Hotel Rwanda hero verdict

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Prosecutors have filed an appeal against the court ruling on Paul Rusesabagina, the man portrayed as a hero in a Hollywood movie about the Rwandan genocide.

Rusesabagina, 67, was sentenced to 25 years in jail last month after being found guilty of backing a rebel group behind deadly attacks in 2018 and 2019.

Rwandan prosecutors had sought a life sentence against him and had indicated they were not happy with the decision to hand a lesser punishment than they had sought.

Rusesabagina had pulled out of the trial, which rights groups, supporters and his family denounced as a sham.

Neither he nor his lawyers were in court for the verdict, in which his co-defendants were sentenced for between three and 20 years.

On Wednesday, Rusesabagina’s daughter Carine Kanimba said the prosecution’s move to appeal against the sentence showed the trial was politically motivated.

The appeal court is to later decide on the date when it will start hearing the appeal.

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