“I AM NOT RWANDAN” – Rusesabagina’s wobbly defense

“I AM NOT RWANDAN” – Rusesabagina’s wobbly defense

For the second time, alleged terrorist Paul Rusesabagina was denied bail. As he should. And you don’t need to be a legal scholar to understand why. Follow me;

For the last few years since an arrest warrant was issued against him, Rusesabagina has been on the run, so why would any court cut him loose from protective custody as he awaits his day in court?

That he would interfere with an ongoing investigation is a no brainer. Let him patiently wait for his turn to argue his case. Victims of his alleged terrorist activities have also been waiting patiently for justice to be done.

There are gaping holes the size of Texas in Rusesabagina’s defense that even a Gacaca court can effectively handle this case.

With a straight face — well, he was masked — Rusesabagina told court that in 1999 he was “adopted like an orphan” by Belgium, and his Rwandan nationality papers “confiscated.” The “logic” here is that since he is a Belgian citizen Rwanda has no jurisdiction over him. Really? This argument is not only moronic, it does not pass the common sense test.

Ntamugabo mukuru uvuga ubusa bigyezeaho.

Bear with me: Rusesabagina is as Rwandan as can be, and because a foreign country seizes your nationality papers does not deprive you of your birth right to be Rwandan.

Ok, Mr Belgian citizen, if you plan and carry out terrorist activities and kill Innocent and defenseless Rwandans on Rwandan soil, who says you are immune to the law? At 66, Rusesabagina is old enough to know better, and to advance such a shallow and stupid argument embarrasses his wife and children who needlessly look up to him. I get that.

Rusesabagina pleaded with the court to release him because of his poor medical condition, revealing that he suffers from hypertension and is being treated for some form of cancer. Well, I don’t mean to be coy, but should he not have thought of his condition before starting to attack Rwanda and killing fellow Rwandans?

To argue that Rwandan doctors are not good enough to treat him is the height of arrogance. After all he has been under their care since his voluntary arrival in Rwanda. This argument is a sham and mere desperate cries of a man who realizes that he is not in a good place, to put it mildly, and there are severe consequences to his felonious conduct.

The man goes on to say that his Movement (MRCD) — he does not deny being a founding member — and its military wing (FLN) was structured in such a way that each section was independent of others, and he was personally charged with “diplomacy” and had no idea what FLN was up to. This argument is not only hollow but offends everyone listening in. If he was not being charged with serious crimes he could be excused for simply being stupid. It’s not the case.

Rusesabagina not only admits to financing FLN, along with his wife, as evidence from the Belgian Ministry of Justice will show, with proof of money changing hands, his many videotaped speeches corroborate the charges that have been filed against him.

I have been intensely watching Rusesabagina’s case on television, and it still amazes me that his lawyers let him address the court. Every time he does this he supports the prosecution’s case. A client that has himself for a lawyer is a fool.

So much noise has been made by the international community, whoever they are, as well as Rusesabagina’s friends “demanding” that he be freed, or short of that he receive a fair trial. Who gave them the right to “be the boss of us” or judge Rwanda’s justice system which has been put to the test again and again and found to be above board?

Rusesabagina ought to temper his gargantuan belief in the international community and Rwanda bashers. They eventually shut up and abandon you, like they did in the Rwigara,Ingabire and Mugesera matters.

There is not a strong argument about how Rusesabagina arrived in Rwanda. He too admits he was not forcibly put on the plane. But this is a diversionary argument to lessen the seriousness of charges against Rusesabagina. There is no polite way to apprehend a fugitive, but when Rwanda takes steps to safeguard her security and sovereignty all manner of people, without any request from anybody, start making noise and empty arguments.

In 1989 the US invaded Panama and kidnapped President Manuel Noriega. In 2011, NATO killed Muammar Gaddafi. Again, in 2011 Gen Ratko Mladic was kidnapped and taken to The Hague to stand trial. For the last seven years, the US has been trailing Edward Snowden, now living in Russia because he exposed illegalities within government.

Just like any other nation, Rwanda will do whatever it takes to preserve her security. Those who think intimidation will dissuade us are not schooled in our resolve and resilience.

Rusesabagina will have his day in court, and the moon will not come crushing on us.