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The Prosecutor v. Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi ICC-01/12-01/15

On 26 September 2015, Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi was transfered by the Nigerian police authorities to the International Criminal Court (ICC). The transfer took place as result of the execution of an arrest and detention order issued by ICC, according to which Al Mahdi was involved in the destruction of the following relevant religious buildings located in the ancient city of Timbuktu:
1) the mausoleum Sidi Mahmoud Ben Omar Mohamed Aquit, 2) the mausoleum Sheikh Mohamed Mahmoud Al Arawani, 3) the mausoleum Sheikh Sidi Mokhtar Ben Sidi Muhammad Ben Sheikh Alkabir, 4) the mausoleum Alpha Moya, 5) the mausoleum Sheikh Sidi Ahmed Ben Amar Arragadi, 6) the mausoleum Sheikh Muhammad El Micky, 7) the mausoleum Cheick Abdoul Kassim Attouaty, 8) the mausoleum Ahamed Fulane, 9) the mausoleum Bahaber Babadié, and 10) Sidi Yahia mosque.
Following this surrender, the first appearance of Al Mahdi before the ICC Preliminary Chamber was held on 30 September 2015.
The confirmation of charges hearing was provisionally scheduled for 18 January 2016.
Following the request of the defence, supported by the Prosecutor, Judge Cuno Tarfuser decided the postponement of the confirmation of charges hearing to take place on 1 March and, if necessary, to continue 2 March 2016.
On 1 March 2016, the confirmation of charges hearing against Mr Al Mahdi was held at ICC. In this hearing, ICC Prosecutor presented evidence enough to sustain that the accused person committed war crimes against sanctuaries and other sacred places of Timbuktu. Mr Al Mahdi acknowledged his guilt.
On 24 March 2016, the Pre-Trial Chamber confirmed the charges against Mr Al Mahdi.
The trial took place on 22-24 August 2016. At the beginning of this trial Mr Al Mahdi admitted his guilt.
On 27 September 2016, Trial Chamber VIII found Mr Al Mahdi guilty beyond reasonable doubt as co-perpetrator of the war crime consisting of intentionally directing attacks against religious and historic buildings in Timbuktu, Mali, in June and July 2016. Al Mahdi was sentenced to nine years´ imprisonment.

Relevant documents:

  • 2015.09.18 – International Warrant of Arrest of Mr Al Mahdi – EN
  • 2015.09.28 – Order convening a hearing of the first appearance of Mr Al Mahdi – EN 
  • 2016.01.14 – Decision to postpone the confirmation of charges until 1st March 2016 – EN
  • 2016.03.24 – Decision on the confirmation of charges against Mr Al Mahdi – EN
  • 2016.09.27 – ICC Judgement and Sentence – EN 
  • 2017.08.17 – Reparations Order – EN
  • 2018.03.08 – Judgment on the Appeal of the victims against the Reparations Order – EN

Al Mahdi at his first appearance hearing on 30 September 2015 at ICC ©ICC-CPI

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