Rusesabagina, Sankara and co-accused to return to court

On 14 January 2022 at 02:11

The Court of Appeal is set to begin the hearing in a case involving Paul Rusesabagina and 19 individuals convicted of terrorism charges.

The appeal hearing is scheduled on Monday.

On 20th September 2021, the High Court Special Chamber for International and Cross-border crimes convicted them of different charges including terrorism.

The court convicted former President of MRCD-FLN terrorist group, Paul Rusesabagina of terrorism charges and handed him 25-year jail term while Callixte Nsabimana alias Sankara, the former spokesperson for the terror group was sentenced to 20 years behind bars.

The remaining nineteen co-accused individuals were sentenced from three to 20 years.

Following the ruling, the accused, plaintiffs and the Prosecution were given 30 days for appeal

Later on, it was said that 13 of convicts and 74 survivors of FLN attacks who sought compensation expressed dissatisfaction with the judgment separately and filed an appeal.

During trial proceedings, 94 survivors of the attacks sought over Rwf1 billion but the court resolved that few of them would get compensated and the amount was below demanded compensation.

Towards the end of last year; the Prosecutor General, Aimable Havugiyaremye said that the appeal was filed following dissatisfaction with verdicts.

He also revealed that the Prosecution was not happy with the acquittal of Rusesabagina on the formation of an irregular armed group and handed sentence among others.

Rusesabagina who did not appeal against the 25-year jail term, had boycotted the court during trial proceedings citing zero expectation of fair trial.

The convicts faced charges including the formation of an irregular armed group, membership of a terrorist group, financing terrorism, murder as an act of terrorism, arson as an act of terrorism, attempted murder as an act of terrorism, and assault and battery as an act of terrorism.

The crimes were committed since 2018 when MRDC/FLN combatants plotted attacks to Rwanda which claimed lives of nine innocent residents in the Southern Province.

They left many others gravely injured, and caused significant material and economic damage in South-West Rwanda.

The Court of Appeal is set to begin the hearing in a case involving Paul Rusesabagina and 19 co-accused terror suspects.