A Rwandan High Court has ruled that Paul Rusesabagina, who was depicted as a hero in a 2004 Hollywood film about the Rwandan genocide, will have his terrorism trial proceeded in absentia.
Mr Rusesabagina said earlier this month that he would not return to court because he did not seek justice.
On Wednesday, the court said the trial would continue even if he “would not appear without valid reasons”.
The judge said Mr Rusesabagina still had a “right to reappear [in court] before the trial is concluded”.
Mr Rusesabagina and 20 others are accused of terror charges related to deadly attacks in Rwanda in 2018 and 2019 by the FLN, the armed wing of the Rwandan Movement for Democratic Change (MRCD), a coalition of opposition parties of which he is vice-president.
The other suspects appeared in court on Wednesday to enter their plea.
He was detained in Dubai last August under suspicious circumstances as a fierce opponent of Rwandan President Paul Kagame. He claims he was kidnapped and flown to Rwanda unlawfully, but the court says he was duped and must face trial.
He rose to prominence after Don Cheadle portrayed him in the 2004 film Hotel Rwanda, which documented his attempts to rescue hundreds of people from the 1994 genocide.
He fled Rwanda in 1996, seeking refuge in Belgium, and then securing a green card for the United States, where he became involved in opposition politics in exile.
His attorneys have refuted the accusations levelled against him.