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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 February, 2004, 21:54 GMT
Papa Wemba arrested in Belgium
Papa Wemba
Wemba's unique music brought him a global following
The Congolese-born music star, Papa Wemba, who is accused of smuggling people into Europe, has been extradited from France to Belgium.

The musician whose real name is Jules Shungu Wembadio Pene Kikumba was taken into custody in Brussels.

His lawyer said the 54-year old was due to be questioned in the next few days.

Papa Wemba is accused of using his position as a musician to bring hundreds of people from his native Democratic Republic of Congo.

Six months ago French police began investigations when 200 Congolese arrived in Paris saying they were Papa Wemba's musicians. They later vanished.

A similar case occurred in Belgium and further questioning of the people revealed that they had in fact each paid 3,500 euros($4,000) for their passage.

Belgian citizen

Papa Wemba was imprisoned in France last year after being placed under investigation but was released on Thursday after posting bail of 30,000 euros $35,00).

His lawyer, Yves Leberquier, said an agreement had been reached with the Belgian and French authorities regarding his client's extradition to Belgium.

Mr Leberquier said the questioning in the next few days will determine whether Papa Wemba, who has Belgian citizenship, is placed under formal investigation.

Papa Wemba first burst onto the Zairean music scene in 1969, then with the Zaiko Langa Langa band.

In 1977 he formed his band, Viva la Musica, which built him a huge African following.

He moved to Europe in the 1980s where his unique music, "rumba rock" propelled his international career.

France grants bail to Papa Wemba
05 Jun 03  |  Europe
France investigates Papa Wemba
20 Feb 03  |  Europe


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