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Lesotho’s prime minister to be charged with murder

MASERU, Lesotho — Lesotho’s Prime Minister, Thomas Thabane, will be charged with the June 2017 killing of his estranged wife, Lipolelo, a top police official said Thursday, and the prime minister announced he would be stepping down.

The southern African kingdom already has watched in shock as the prime minister’s current wife, Masesaiah, was charged earlier this month in the murder after briefly fleeing the country.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Paseka Mokete said the prime minister will appear at the Maseru Magistrates Court on Friday “to face a murder charge in connection with the killing of Lipolelo Thabane.”

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Lesotho’s 80-year-old leader also will face an attempted murder charge in connection with the shooting of another person who was with his wife at the time, Mokete said. He said police investigations were complete, and more people will be charged. Thabane will become Lesotho’s first sitting prime minister to be charged with any crime.

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Lipolelo had been estranged from Thabane, who had filed for divorce when she was shot dead near her Maseru home on the night of June 14, 2017.

ASSOCIATED PRESS