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'Hotel Rwanda' hero declines to plead to charges

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Paul Rusesabagina, whose story inspired the film “Hotel Rwanda,” was in court on Monday, where he declined to plead to the 13 charges facing him.

Rusesabagina, who once called for armed resistance to the government in a YouTube video, is accused of terrorism, complicity in murder, among other charges.

His trial promises to be the most high-profile yet in a string of cases against the opponents of President Paul Kagame, who has ruled Rwanda since the end of the genocide and won the last elections with nearly 99% of the vote.

While Kagame has enjoyed widespread credit and support from Western donors for restoring Rwanda to stability, international rights groups and political opponents say his rule is increasingly tainted by repression.

Including Rusesabagina, who after the genocide, became a vocal critic of Kagame, whom he accused of stifling opposition, an accusation the government denies.

The Oscar-nominated film "Hotel Rwanda" portrayed Rusesabagina, a former hotel manager, as a hero, who used his connections with the Hutu elite to protect Tutsis fleeing the slaughter.

Rusesabaginawas due to appear in court again on Thursday to apply for bail.