Belgian Prosecutor's Office investigates murder of Patrice Lumumba
BRUSSELS, December 13 - RAPSI. The Belgian Federal Prosecutor's Office has accepted an application submitted by the widow and sons of former Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba, who has requested an investigation into the involvement of the Belgian military and government officials in his murder in 1961, Soir reported on Thursday.
The application was filed in June 2011. The office examined the request for 1.5 years to determine if it corresponds with Belgian law on the universal competence of justice regarding military crimes and crimes against humanity.
In 2002, a special Belgian parliamentary commission investigating Lumumba's murder concluded that the country is morally responsible for his death, as its military trained Congolese separatists.
Following the parliamentary investigation, Guy Verhofstadt, who served as the Belgian prime minister at the time, officially apologized to Congo.
Lumumba's family claimed Belgium allocated 250 million Belgian francs (6 million euros) to finance plans to assassinate Lumumba and two of his closest comrades.
Lumumba was the first prime minister of the Republic of Congo. He took office in June 1960, fighting separatism and the armed aggression of Belgian colonizers. Lumumba was ousted with the support of parent states, transferred to Katanga, and killed in January 1961.