A former police chief of an al-Qaeda-linked insurgent group in Mali’s restive northern region of Gao has been sentenced to 10 years in jail.
Aliou Mahamar Toure was put on trial in the capital Bamako on charges of aggravated assault, amputation and public flogging of women who failed to wear the veil.
“The court found the accused guilty of all the charges against him, but with extenuating circumstances, and sentenced him to 10 years imprisonment,” president of the Assize Court said.
The court found the accused guilty of all the charges against him, but with extenuating circumstances, and sentenced him to 10 years imprisonment.
He denied the charges and sought to give an explanation for the crimes that he was charged with. “It is not me, they are Mauritanian, Algerian and Saharawi jihadists who cut off their hands,” he said in a single hearing of his trial.
Until his arrest in 2013, Toure was a senior member of MUJAO, an insurgent group linked to al-Qaeda.
He was arrested following a French intervention that drove out al-Qaeda and other rebel groups from the area they had held in 2012.
International rights groups have said that he had to be held for more serious crimes committed during his tenure as Gao’s police chief.