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Paul Rusesabagina. Photo: Nicolas Maeterlinck/AFP via Getty Images

Paul Rusesabagina, whose story inspired the film "Hotel Rwanda" about the 1994 genocide, was found guilty of forming a terrorist group, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Rusesabagina has maintained his innocence and boycotted the trial, which his family and supporters have denounced as a "sham" designed to silence him for criticizing Rwandan leader Paul Kagame.

State of play: Kagame accused Rusesabagina of profiting from his heroism and for creating a group to overthrow the government, the Times notes.

  • Rusesabagina was the manager of a luxury hotel in Kigali, which he turned into a safe haven for 1,268 people, mostly from the Tutsi minority, during the 1994 genocide that killed as many as one million people, the Times notes.

Of note: A book by British journalist Michela Wrong released in May revealed evidence that suggests that Kagame actually played a vital role in starting the genocide.

  • Wrong says that Kagame's government has focused on silencing dissent and manipulating data.

Between the lines: Rusesabagina, who had not lived in Rwanda since 1996, said he was kidnapped from Dubai in 2020 and has denied all the charges, according to Reuters.

  • The trial started in February and has received widespread criticism, with more than 30 U.S. senators urging Kagame to release Rusesabagina.

What they're saying: "The court finds that they should be found guilty for being part of this terrorist group," Judge Beatrice Mukamurenzi said, per the Times.

  • "They committed terror acts which they later bragged about in different announcements and videos," Mukamurenzi added.
  • In a statement to ABC News, Rusesabagina's family said that "we are happy that the charade of the trial is ending. We assume they will finish the sham by finding him guilty on Monday. We have told the world over and over that there is no fair trial process in Rwanda, and the past months have shown that."

Go deeper

6 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats brace for staredown over paid family medical leave

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Senior House Democrats are braced for battle with the Senate over whether paid family medical leave — a key priority for progressives — will be included in President Biden’s final budget reconciliation bill, lawmakers and aides tell Axios.

Why it matters: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has indicated he wants to cut the program to reduce the bill's price tag. “Paid family and medical leave must be in the final package,” Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, told Axios on Monday.

38 mins ago - World

Poland showdown is EU's Jan. 6 moment, top official says

Didier Reynders. Photo: Thierry Monasse/Getty Images

Poland and Hungary have forced a moment of reflection on the European Union — similar to the one in the U.S. after the Jan. 6 insurrection, EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders told Axios.

What he's saying: "During many years, we have had in our minds that it was granted that if you are a member of the EU, of course you apply the rule of law; you have full respect for democracy, fundamental rights and so on — maybe with some concerns but with a real intention to adapt your legislation to be in full compliance [with EU law]," Reynders said.

The E-commerce shopping spree

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Retailers have gotten really good at selling stuff online. So much so, investors want them to separate from the business units that do just that.

Why it matters: Spinning off these crown jewels may jeopardize both the physical and e-commerce sides of the companies in the long run by breaking the benefits of hybrid operations, analysts say.