ICC convicts Mali Islamist for Timbuktu atrocities

ICC convicts Mali Islamist for Timbuktu atrocities

The International Criminal Court (ICC) convicted a Malian Islamist on Wednesday of war crimes and crimes against humanity for being a central figure in the Islamic police of Timbuktu during a 2012 rebel takeover.

In a summary of their verdict, the judges said Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz played an important role in the Ansar Dine Islamist group, which took the city on the fringe of the Sahara desert in 2012 and tried to impose sharia Islamic law.

Local inhabitants testified that he was considered a key player within the Islamic police force who could issue orders and police officers would carry them out.

“Al Hassan has been found guilty by majority decision of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including torture, cruel treatment and outrages upon personal dignity, for the public flogging of 13 members of the population” of Timbuktu, Presiding Judge Antoine Kesia-Mbe Mindua said.

Al Hassan has pleaded not guilty to all charges, but has not denied he was a member of Ansar Dine. His lawyers have argued he was trying to maintain order in a chaotic situation after the rebel takeover of Timbuktu.

Source: Reuters

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