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Lesotho prosecutors dropped all charges against former Prime Minister Thomas Thabane and his wife for their involvement in the 2017 murder of his estranged ex-wife in a case that shook the tiny, politically-unstable African nation, Agence France-Presse reported.

Officials said they dropped the case after they could no longer locate a key witness.

Police had accused Thabane and his current wife, Maesaiah, of paying hitmen to kill his previous wife, Lipolelo, in June 2017 – just two days before he was inaugurated as prime minister.

At the time, Thabane and Lipolelo were engaged in bitter divorce proceedings. Two months after her murder, he married Maesaiah.

The couple denied any involvement in the murder but the case caused a furor in the small kingdom. Thabane eventually resigned in May 2020 amid an ongoing investigation and internal pressure within his administration to step down.

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