Belgium to hand over remains of Congo’s murdered prime minister

Following a court judgment, the Belgian government will hand back remains of murdered post-independence Congolese prime minister Patrice Lumumba to his family. Two of Lumumba's teeth were kept by a Belgian police officer after he destroyed Lumumba's body. One tooth will be given back to his family; the other is currently being held by the authorities as part of an investigation.

Belgium to hand over remains of Congo’s murdered prime minister (Brussels Times, link):

"A Belgian court has ruled that the remains of Congolese independence leader Patrice Lumumba, kept by Belgium after his murder, can be returned to his family.


In June, 64-year-old Juliana Lumumba wrote a letter to King Philippe asking for her father’s remains to be returned “to the land of his ancesters.”

The ruling on Thursday followed a decision by the federal public prosecutor’s office that Lumumba’s remains could be given back, the Belga news agency reports.


In a 1999 book by sociologist Ludo Di Witte, Belgian Police Commissioner Gérard Soete detailed how, tasked with disposing of Lumumba’s corpse, he had sawed the man’s body into pieces and dissolved it in sulfuric acid.

Soete, who died in 2000, was also shown in a German documentary revealing that the Belgian officer had wrung two teeth from Lumumba’s jaw and kept them, Le Soir reports."


Spotted an error? If you've spotted a problem with this page, just click once to let us know.

Report error