Mali extremist gets 9 years jail for destroying Timbuktu sites

Listen /

Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi. Photo: ICC-CPI

An Islamist militant from Mali has been sentenced to 9 years of jail by a UN-backed tribunal for directing attacks against religious and cultural monuments in Timbuktu.

Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi is a former member of the Ansar Dine rebel group.

Mali’s intellectual and spiritual capital is inscribed on the UN World Heritage Site.

Charles Appel reports.

The trial against Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi is the first of its kind.

Back in August, the former Ansar Dine rebel pleaded guilty to war crimes for ordering the destruction of religious and cultural monuments in Mali's Timbuktu.

Mr Al Mahdi also asked for forgiveness and provided a detailed account of his acts, admitting that he personally "determined the sequence in which the buildings were to be attacked".

Here's the Spokesperson for the International Criminal Court (ICC), Fadi El Abdallah.

"On 27 September 2016, Trial Chamber VIII of the International Criminal Court unanimously found that Mr Al Mahdi was guilty beyond reasonable doubt as a co-perpetrator of the war crime consisting in intentionally directing attacks against religious and historic buildings in Timbuktu, Mali, in June and July 2012. The Chamber sentenced Mr Al Mahdi to nine years' imprisonment. The time spent in detention since his arrest upon the ICC warrant issued on 18 September 2015 will be deducted from the sentence.

To determine the 9-year sentence, the ICC said it considered the gravity of the crime and found that the targeted buildings had a "symbolic and emotional value" for the Timbuktu residents.

The verdict by the ICC was hailed as "historic" by the head of the UN cultural organisation, UNESCO.

Charles Appel, United Nations.

Duration: 1’27″


Filed under Today's News.
UN Radio Daily News Programme
UN Radio Daily News Programme
Updated at 1800 GMT, Monday to Friday
Loading the player ...




November 2017
« Oct