Rwandan authorities have deported a Belgian lawyer identified as Vincent Lurquin, representing Paul Rusesabagina – an ex-hotelier whose story inspired the film Hotel Rwanda, based on the country’s 1994 genocide.
According to reports, Lurquin was deported during the weekend for working without a permit.
Earlier he’d appeared in court to represent Rusesabagina, who is accused of nine terrorism-related charges, including forming and funding an armed rebel group.
He has not commented on his deportation.
Meanwhile, Rwanda’s director general of immigration, Regis Gatarayiha, who spoke to newsmen explained that Lurquin was in the country on a visitor’s visa, and had not been accredited by the Rwandan Bar Association.
66 year old Rusesabagina became famous after Don Cheadle played him in the 2004 film Hotel Rwanda, which depicts his efforts to save hundreds of people from being murdered during the 1994 genocide.
He left Rwanda in 1996 and sought asylum in Belgium, and later the US. While living in exile, he became the leader of Rwanda’s opposition group. It has an armed wing, the FLN, which stages attacks in Rwanda.
He has since denied the charges against him accusing the government of kidnapping him and bringing him back to Rwanda.