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Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi makes first appearance before the ICC


Situation: Mali
The Prosecutor v. Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi

On 30 September 2015, Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi appeared before the single Judge of Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Judge Cuno Tarfusser, at the seat of the ICC in The Hague (The Netherlands). The Single Judge provisionally set the date of the beginning of the confirmation of charges hearing in respect of Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi for 18 January 2016.

The hearing was held in the presence of the Prosecutor and the Defence. Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi was represented by his Duty Counsel, Mohamed Aouini. The Single Judge verified the identity of the suspect, and ensured that he was clearly informed of the charges brought against him and of his rights under the Rome Statute of the ICC in a language he fully understands and speaks, in this case, Arabic.

The opening of the confirmation of charges hearing is provisionally scheduled for 18 January 2016. The purpose of the confirmation of charges hearing is to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to establish substantial grounds to believe that the person committed each of the crimes charged. If the charges are confirmed, the case will be transferred to a Trial Chamber, which will conduct the subsequent phase of the proceedings: the trial.

Background: It is alleged that Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi, born in Agoune, 100 kilometers west of Timbuktu, Mali, from the Ansar Tuareg tribe, was an active personality in the context of the occupation of Timbuktu. He allegedly was a member of Ansar Eddine, working closely with the leaders of the two armed groups and in the context of the structures and institutions established by them. It is alleged that, until September 2012, he was at the head of the "Hesbah" ("Manners' Brigade"), operational from May 2012. He was also associated with the work of the Islamic Court of Timbuktu and has participated in executing its decisions. Specifically, it is alleged that he was involved in the destruction of the buildings mentioned in the charges.

The Chamber found that the evidence presented by the Prosecutor establish reasonable grounds to believe that Al Mahdi is criminally responsible for having committed, individually and jointly with others, facilitated or otherwise contributed to the commission of war crimes alleged by the Prosecutor regarding intentionally directing attacks against the following buildings: 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.

For further information on the case, click here.

For photos of the hearing, click here

Audio and video of the hearing:

(Floor: English, Arabic)

  • YouTube (for viewing):
  • Video MPEG-4 (for viewing and download)
  • Audio MPEG-3 (for download)

Relevant documents:

For further information, please contact Fadi El Abdallah, Spokesperson and Head of Public Affairs Unit, International Criminal Court, by telephone at: +31 (0)70 515-9152 or +31 (0)6 46448938 or by e-mail at: [email protected].

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