Federal Parliament searched as part of investigation into the murder of Congolese PM
Detectives from the Federal Judicial Authorities have carried out a search in Belgium’s Federal Parliament as part of the ongoing investigation into the murder of the then Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba (photo above) in 1961. Several documents drafted by a parliamentary commission that looked into the murder of Lumumba and concluded its work in 2001 were confiscated.
In 2012, using the law on universal jurisdiction and at the request of the late Mr Lumumba’s family, the Belgian Judicial Authorities opened an investigation into the murder. The rules on universal jurisdiction make it possible for people to be prosecuted for war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide committed abroad providing that plaintiff or plaintiffs have a connection with Belgium. The Chamber of Indictment agreed to categorise Patrice Lumumba’s murder as a war crime. This set the way clear for a criminal investigation to start.
The investigation is still on-going, although 8 of the 10 people against whom Patrice Lumumba’s family are plaintiffs have since died.
Eric Van Duyse of the Federal Judicial Authorities confirms that several documents from the Parliamentary Lumumba Commission have been confiscated.
“Around 200 files. The Chamber of Indictment must now judge whether the Judicial Authorities will be able to take into consideration the statements that were taken from witnesses behind closed doors then. The documents have been sealed and put into one of the rooms at the parliament building”.