Rwanda official admits to legal violations in “Rwanda Hotel” case


Nairobi, Kenya – The Rwandan Attorney General inadvertently disclosed that he has intercepted classified and classified legal material in the ongoing terrorism case against Paul Rusapjena, a prominent dissident. Their efforts to save more than 1,200 people During the genocide in the country, he was portrayed in the Oscar-nominated film “Hotel Rwanda”.

at Video interview What was published by Al Jazeera English, Johnston Bussingei, Minister of Justice and Attorney General, refused Accusations of confiscation of the authorities Mr Rusesabagina’s papers or trampled upon the attorney-client privilege.

But in a one-and-a-half-hour preparatory video that the PR team accidentally sent to the media outlet, Mr. Bussingei contradicted himself, saying that prison authorities intercepted correspondence between Mr. Rusapjina, his lawyer and children, that included escape plans.

Mr Busingye also discussed with the team how to respond to questions about whether the Rwandan government had paid for the trip that brought Mr Rosapagina in August to Kigali, where He was arrested on charges Including murder, armed robbery and membership in a terrorist organization.

The latest disclosure came just hours after a Rwandan court ruled on Friday that it had jurisdiction to try Mr Rosapagina – a Belgian citizen and permanent resident of the United States. It also came at a time when the trial is facing widespread condemnation from entities including human rights groups and members of the US Congress and European Parliament.

His lawyers say the recent disclosures cast a shadow over Mr Rosapagina’s prospects for a fair hearing, given that his international lawyers have not been permitted to enter Kigali to represent him and prison officials continue to confiscate his case files. Mr. Rasabagina, a former hotel owner, told his lawyer that he feared death from a stroke in prison, and his family members said they were still concerned about his deteriorating health.

During the interview with Al-Jazeera, Mr. Bossenji denied that Mr. Rusapjina’s communications with his lawyer had been intercepted. But, “if that happens, it will be brought up in the courts and the courts will deal with it fairly,” he told Al Jazeera correspondent, Mark Lamont Hill, on UpFront.

In another clip aired by Al Jazeera, Mr Busingye is seen receiving advice on how to respond to inquiries about who paid for the private plane that brought Mr Rusesabagina to Kigali. In the video, a public relations advisor can be heard warning the minister to be “careful” because the interviewer was “looking for something they could bring up in a press release about the interview – looking for nuggets of the tough stuff.”

When Mr. Hill of Al Jazeera asked him about who paid for the plane, Mr. Bussingei said the Rwandan government did.

Since Mr Rosapagina was presented to the press handcuffed in Kigali on August 31st, questions have revolved around how he ended up there.

He left his home in San Antonio, Texas, and Dubai arrived On board an Emirates flight from Chicago in the evening of August 27th. He then checked into the ibis hotel in Dubai, according to him document From the UAE mission in Geneva, and after five hours, he boarded a private plane, which he believed was heading to Burundi, where he planned to speak to churches at the invitation of a local priest.

The next day, the plane, operated by the Greek charter company GainJet, landed in Kigali, where it was Arrested, bound, and interrogated.

The Rwandan authorities confirmed earlier, including in interviews with The New York Times, that they had hired the charter service for government operations, but did not explicitly confirm that they chartered the specific flight that transported Mr. Rusapjina to Kigali.

In December, Mr. Rusapjina and his family filed a lawsuit against GainJet over its role in the episode.

After his arrest, President Paul Kagame – whose government has been trying to arrest 66-year-old Rusapagina for years – It’s called the process “Not flawless,” he said, was not an abduction.

As for Mr. Rusapagina’s escape plans, his daughter, Karen Kanimba, said she has received WhatsApp and Twitter messages since November about someone claiming to be one of her father’s prison guards. The letters, audio, written and reviewed by The Times, described Mr. Rospagina’s routine and suggested ways to help him escape.

“I never wanted,” Ms. Kanimba said in a phone interview. “I was afraid that I would respond to them and that they would use it against my father.”

In December, the family also shared the materials with the FBI, the US State Department, and the Belgian Foreign Ministry.

On Friday, the Rwandan authorities redoubled their stance, describing the arrest as “legal and correct”. The Ministry of Justice said in a statement that Mr. Bossenji Learned of a “Possible Violation” In December, regarding the distinguished documents, he ordered them to be returned to Mr. Rusapjina.

Kate Gibson, a senior adviser to Mr. Rusapagina, contested the statement, saying his papers “continue to be routinely and systematically confiscated, including his confidential and confidential materials”. Ms Gibson is one of three attorneys awaiting permission to represent the former hotelier in Kigali.

She said that, until last week, Mr. Rusapagina had been prevented from going to his cell with his documents.

“We see now from the preparation video for Al Jazeera that the contents of confidential and confidential legal documents are making their way to the highest levels,” she said in an email. “The right to confidentiality of communications is at the heart of legal representation. Without it, it is impossible to consider the procedures as fair.”

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