Skip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
ICC judges cut Muslim radical's sentence in Timbuktu case

ICC judges cut Muslim radical's sentence in Timbuktu case

  • 0
{{featured_button_text}}

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — International Criminal Court appeals judges have cut by two years the sentence of an Islamic radical who pleaded guilty to overseeing the destruction of historic mausoleums in the Malian desert city of Timbuktu, the court announced Thursday.

Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi, a former teacher, was sentenced to nine years in 2016 for the war crime of intentionally attacking buildings of a religious and historical character. He pleaded guilty and expressed remorse for his role in the destruction of nine mausoleums and a mosque door by pickax-wielding rebels in June and July of 2012.

He is now set to complete his sentence on Sept. 18, 2022.

In a heavily redacted decision, the panel of judges cited as a reason for cutting his sentence Al Mahdi's continued cooperation with prosecutors at the court after his conviction.

Mali had opposed any reduction, arguing that “the people of Mali as a whole and the people of Timbuktu have not fully healed from the wounds caused by the misdeeds” he committed, according to court papers.

Al Mahdi's conviction was the first at the global court for destruction of religious buildings or historic monuments, and the first guilty verdict delivered against a Muslim extremist.

Al-Qaida-linked rebels occupied the fabled Saharan city of Timbuktu in 2012 and enforced a strict interpretation of Islamic law under which they destroyed the historic mud-brick tombs they considered idolatrous. Al Mahdi was leader of one of the “morality brigades” set up by Timbuktu’s new rulers.

ICC prosecutors said Al Mahdi was a member of Ansar Eddine, an Islamic extremist group with links to al-Qaida that held power in northern Mali in 2012. The militants were driven out after nearly a year by French forces, which arrested Al Mahdi in 2014 in neighboring Niger.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Locations

Be the first to know

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

  • Updated

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The U.S. recorded its first confirmed case of the omicron variant Wednesday — in a vaccinated traveler who returned to California after a trip to South Africa — as scientists around the world race to establish whether the new, mutant version of the coronavirus is more dangerous than previous ones.

  • Updated

ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) — The Council of Europe’s committee on torture harshly criticized Croatia Friday over reports of “severe ill-treatment” of migrants crossing into the country and urged the country's authorities to take immediate action to stop the practice.

  • Updated

LONDON (AP) — New measures to combat the new omicron variant of coronavirus took effect in England on Tuesday, with face coverings again compulsory in shops and on public transportation, as the government said it would offer all adults a booster dose of vaccine within two months to bolster the nation's immunity.

  • Updated

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met face-to-face with his Russian counterpart on Thursday to demand Russia pull back troops from the border with Ukraine, as tensions and suspicions grow in a confrontation over Ukraine's increasingly close ties with NATO and the West.

  • Updated

BRUSSELS (AP) — Taking an act-now-ask-questions-later approach, countries around the world slammed their doors shut again to try to keep the new omicron variant at bay Monday as more cases of the mutant coronavirus emerged and scientists raced to figure out just how dangerous it might be.

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Serbia and Russia pledged Friday to combat popular revolts known as “color revolutions” that the countries' top security officials described as instruments of the West to destabilize “free states,” according to a statement issued by Serbia’s interior minister.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics