Paul Rusesabagina, portrayed in a 2004 Hollywood movie as a hero who helped save Tutsis during the Rwandan genocide, on Friday, September 25 admitted to forming an armed group but denied any role in their crimes.
The 66-year-old former hotel manager who was arrested after being lured into a private jet under false pretences, had co-founded the Rwandan Movement for Democratic Change (MRCD), an opposition party based abroad.
While in exile, he had also expressed support for the National Liberation Front (FLN) which has claimed responsibility for a series of attacks in Nyungwe, near the border with Burundi, but his exact role has been unclear.
Dressed in a pink prison uniform for his bail hearing on Friday, Rusesabagina told a Kigali court that he helped to form the National Liberation Front to assist Rwandan refugees but never supported violence.
“We formed the FLN (National Liberation Front) as an armed wing, not as a terrorist group as the prosecution keeps saying. I do not deny that the FLN committed crimes but my role was diplomacy.
“The agreement we signed to form MRCD as a political platform included the formation of an armed wing called FLN. But my work was under the political platform and I was in charge of diplomacy.”