Press Release : |

Al Hassan trial opens at International Criminal Court


On 14 July 2020, the trial in the case The Prosecutor v. Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud opened before Trial Chamber X of the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity and war crimes allegedly committed in Timbuktu (Mali). Trial Chamber X is composed of Judge Antoine Kesia-Mbe Mindua, Presiding Judge, Judge Tomoko Akane and Judge Kimberly Prost.

The trial's opening started with the reading of the charges against Mr Al Hassan. The Chamber was satisfied that the accused understood the nature of the charges. The accused decided not to plead guilty or non-guilty to the charges at this stage of the trial.

The Court's Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and Senior Trial Lawyer Gilles Dutertre took the floor for opening statements. The hearings will continue tomorrow, 15 July 2020, with the end of the Prosecution's opening statement.

The trial is scheduled to resume on 25 August 2020, when the Prosecution will begin to present its evidence and call its witnesses before the judges. At their requests, the Legal Representatives of Victims and the Defence will make their opening statements at the beginning of the presentation of their evidence, once the Prosecution has concluded the presentation of its case.

Due to the current situation linked to Covid-19, the public gallery was open to a limited number of representatives of the media, the diplomatic community, and the public.

Background: Mr Al Hassan was transferred to the ICC on 31 March 2018 following a warrant of arrest issued by the Chamber on 27 March 2018 for war crimes and crimes against humanity. The confirmation of charges hearing took place from 8 to 17 July 2019. On 30 September 2019, Pre-Trial Chamber I issued a confidential decision confirming the charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity brought by the Prosecutor against Mr Al Hassan and committed him to trial. The redacted version of the decision was published on 13 November 2019. On 18 November 2019, Pre-Trial Chamber I rejected the Defense's request for leave to appeal the decision confirming the charges in the Al Hassan case. On 23 April 2020, Pre-Trial Chamber I issued a confidential decision partially granting the Prosecutor's request to modify the charges against Mr Al Hassan; the redacted version of this decision was made public on 11 May 2020.

Photographs of the hearing

Audiovisual materials:

14 July 2020

1st session

2nd session

3rd session

15 July 2020

1st session

2nd session

Background information:

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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