The International Criminal Court (ICC) has set September 27 as date to deliver its judgment and sentence to Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi, the Malian rebel who was found guilty of war crimes relating to the destruction of historical and religious monuments in Timbuktu in 2012.
Al Faqi became the first person to be tried for the offence since the ICC began its work. His trial which started in March this year was closed today after legal representatives of the victims and the defence presented their remarks before the judges.
A statement on the ICC website read in part, ‘‘The Chamber announced that the judgment and, if applicable, the sentence in that case will be rendered on 27 September 2016.’‘
This is the first international trial focusing on the destruction of historical and religious monuments, and the first ICC case where the defendant made an admission of guilt.
‘‘This is the first international trial focusing on the destruction of historical and religious monuments, and the first ICC case where the defendant made an admission of guilt. Subsequently, the prosecution presented its evidence and called three witnesses,’‘ the statement added.
Facts surrounding the landmark case
- Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi was charged with war crimes in Mali’s Timbuktu region.
- The charge related to the destruction of historical and religious monuments.
- The offences for which he is charged took place between 30 June 2012 and 11 July 2012.
- The warrant of arrest against him was issued by ICC Pre-Trial Chamber I on 18 September 2015
- Niger handed him over to the ICC on 26 September 2015.
- On 24 March 2016, ICC Pre-Trial Chamber I confirmed charges against him.
- On 22 August 2016, Al Mahdi admitted guilt to the war crime and pleaded for forgiveness.
- On 24 August 2016, the trial concluded in the case
- On 27 September, judgment and sentencing would be delivered by the ICC