Lesotho: Appeal Court Cancels Bail Granted To Former Prime Minister Thabane’s Wife

Lesotho’s Appeal Court on Friday cancelled bail granted to the former Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s wife, Maesaiah Thabane, who is accused of murdering the leader’s previous wife Lipolelo, reported Reuters.

Maesaiah was charged with planning the murder of former Prime Minister Thabane’s then estranged wife in June, 2017. Lipolelo was shot dead near her home in Lesotho’s capital, Maseru.  Maesaiah was released on bail in February.

 In fact, Thomas Thabane was also suspected of involvement in the killing and having appeared in court. Both Maesaiah and Thabane have denied any role in Lipolelo’s murder.

The court’s panel of three judges set aside the bail citing papers the unusual speed of the decision among the reasons for the ruling, as well as the lack of consideration of the likelihood of witness interference.

The court said it cannot issue a re-arrest order for Maesaiah Thabane, but ordered that the bail ruling to be forwarded to the High Court for hearing.

Maseru deputy police commissioner and chief investigation officer Paseka Mokete said Thabane’s wife was currently out of the country but would be arrested once she returned.

“We have been informed by her lawyer that she is out of the country accompanying her sick husband and once she is back she shall be handed over to the police, and if not we shall effect arrest,” Mokete said.

The chief investigation officer added they did not need to wait for a court decision to re-arrest Maesaiah.

Earlier this month, Thabane stepped down as prime minister of Lesotho following months of pressure after he was charged in connection with the killing of his ex-wife in February.

“The time to retire from the great theatre of action, take leave from public life and office has finally arrived,” the former prime minister said on national television announcing his resignation.

He said he was stepping down because of his age.

Caroline Finnegan

A professionnal journalist for the past ten years, I cover global news and economic affairs for The Chief Observer.

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