Lesotho has dropped the murder charges against the country’s former Prime Minister, Thomas Thabane and his wife for the 2017 killing of his previous estranged wife, Lipolelo.
At a hearing in the capital, Maseru, prosecutors said the decision was made because they could no longer find a key witness in the case.
Prosecutor Gareth Laban told the court: “We were unable to locate a key witness in this matter, and (the chief prosecutor) has decided to drop the charges against the defendant.”
Thabane, 83, was accused of hiring assassins to kill Lipolelo in June 2017, two days before the prime minister took office. According to local media, the couple was involved in a bitter divorce process.
Both the former prime minister and his now wife Misaya – who married two months after Lipolelo’s assassination—have denied any involvement in the assassination.
The assassination triggered a political crisis in the landlocked South African nation.
Thabane resigned as prime minister in May 2020, succumbing to mounting pressure to resign from the case.
The decision to drop the charges came a week after the unstable country said it would hold general elections in October.
Police accused Thabane of paying a $24,000 deposit to the killers for the murder of his wife.
Among the five accused in the trial are Misaya, 45, who was controversially released on bail in June 2020, and the four alleged killers allegedly hired by Thabane.