During the beginning of Monday’s hearing at the International criminal court (ICC), Ahmad al-Faqih al-Mahdi, one of the leaders of the Islamist movement Ansar al-DIN, has confirmed his involvement in the destruction of religious shrines in the city of Timbuktu, Mali.
He became the first defendant, who pleaded guilty at the Hague Tribunal, writes 22 August, the news service of the BBC.
«Your honor, unfortunately, I have to say that what I heard is accurate and reflects the events. I plead guilty», — quotes the information eventstore news statement by al-Mahdi, which he made after he was read the charges.
It is noted that al-Mahdi is the first Islamist who appeared before the ICC, and the first person brought personal accusations of destruction of cultural objects.
«I apologize to the people of Mali think of me as your son, who has lost his way,» said al-faki after he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
The defendant was transferred by the authorities of Niger to the ICC and placed in the temporary detention centre in the Hague in September 2015. The crimes in question were committed in 2012. According to the investigation, al-faki could «himself or in a group, to commit or facilitate the Commission» of the attacks on ten mosques and mausoleums in Timbuktu.
Recall that in July 2012, the militant group «Ansar al-DIN, taking advantage of the unrest in the Republic of Mali has destroyed religious monuments in the North of Mali, which is home to several world heritage sites UNESCO – three mosques, the main madrassah of Timbuktu and 16 mausoleums. This city was the center of Muslim education in the period from XIII to XVII century.