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Belgian court says Lumumba’s tooth should be returned

A court in Belgium has ruled that a tooth taken from the corpse of Congolese independence hero Patrice Lumumba should be returned to his family.

Belgian media are reporting.Lumumba, who became Congo’s first prime minister after it gained independence from Belgium in 1960, was murdered in 1961 after he was abducted by separatist fighters.

The Belgian government had a role in his death and in 2002 issued a formal apology.

The British and American spy agencies are also believed to have been involved. Lumumba’s tooth is thought to have been taken by a Belgian policeman who was helping to dispose of the body, AFP news agency reports. It was later seized by the Belgian authorities, AFP adds.

The court in Belgium said that the tooth should be given to Lumumba’s daughter, Juliana Lumumba, who had written a letter to the Belgian king asking for its return.

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