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Will Biden Speak Out on ‘Hotel Rwanda’ Trial?

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The White House on Monday suggested to The Liberty Buzz that the president may voice a view on the internationally-watched trial of the man celebrated as a hero in the 2004 hit film “Hotel Rwanda” and now on trial in that country after his seizure in Dubai last September.

At the press briefing at the White House, The Liberty Buzz noted that, as vice president, President Biden met Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

“Does [Biden] have any views on the current trial that’s going on in Rwanda of Paul Rusesabagina, the central figure in the ‘Hotel Rwanda’ movie, who many say was kidnapped illegally?” we asked.

“It’s a great question,” replied Press Secretary Jan Psaki, “I have not spoken with our national security team about that particular trial. I’m happy to talk to them, and we can follow up with you after the briefing.”

Rusesabagina, 66, a citizen of Belgium and permanent legal resident in the U.S., was in Dubai on Sept. 14 and was then transported by private plane — against his will, his family insists — to Rwanda’s capital of Kigali. 

His trial on thirteen charges, including murder and treason, is now under way.

Pointing out that Rusesabagina is a Belgian citizen and a permanent U.S. resident, his family has insisted his seizure was illegal and a violation of international law.

Rwandan Embassy spokesman Lawrence Manzi told us that while Rusesabagina is a Belgian citizen and permanent legal resident of the U.S., “He is still a Rwandan citizen. If he commits a crime there, he can be charged there. That’s international law.”

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for The Liberty Buzz. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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