The murder trial of Maesaiah Thabane, wife of Lesotho Prime Minister Thomas Thabane, will start on 18 February.

She was charged in the Maseru Magistrate’s Court with masterminding the shooting and killing of Thabane’s previous wife, Lipolele, two days before he took office in 2017.

Police last month issued an arrest warrant for Maesaiah after she failed to turn up for questioning in connection with the murder and subsequently went missing.

According to the charge sheet, she unlawfully and with the intent to kill fired a gunshot at Lipolelo.

Maesaiah has been released on bail. The prime minister did not attend the hearing.