Case: The Prosecutor v. Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi
Today, 13 January 2016, Judge Cuno Tarfusser, exercising the functions of Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the case against Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi, granted the Defence's request to postpone the confirmation of charges hearing in this case and decided that it will start on Tuesday, 1 March and, if necessary, will continue on Wednesday, 2 March 2016.
The confirmation of charges hearing was initially 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.
Public redacted version of the "Decision concerning the Defence request to postpone the confirmation of charges hearing"
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 Mr 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.
On 26 September 2015, Mr Al Mahdi was surrendered to the ICC by the authorities of Niger and transferred to the Court's Detention Centre in the Netherlands. On 30 September 2015, he appeared before the single Judge of Pre-Trial Chamber I, Judge Cuno Tarfusser, in the presence of the Prosecutor and the Defence. Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi was represented by his Duty Counsel, Mohamed Aouini.
The situation in Mali was referred to the Court by the Government of Mali on 13 July 2012. After conducting a preliminary examination of the situation, the Office of the Prosecutor opened an investigation on 16 January 2013, into alleged crimes committed on the territory of Mali since January 2012.
For further information on the case, click here.
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