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    Abu Turab, destroyer of the mausoleums of Timbuktu, asks forgiveness to get out of prison


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    Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi, also known as Abu Turab, was sentenced in 2016 to nine years of detention by the International Criminal Court. He had, among other things, directed the destruction of nine mausoleums classified as World Heritage of Humanity in Timbuktu. It was in 2012; the jihadist groups Ansar Dine and Aqmi, in particular, then occupied northern Mali. Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi apologized for early release on Tuesday.

    During his six years of detention – he must serve nine – the former head of the Ansar Dine Morality Brigade in Timbuktu has become a different man. In any case, this is what Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi pleaded before the ICC, adding excuses to his argument.


    I am here to express my remorse, sadness and regret for all the crimes I have committed in the past. This remorse awakened my heart and my conscience. I am a changed man. I am before you to express my sincere apologies.

    And to explain that he is detained in exile, far from his family, in conditions that he considers difficult.

    To read also: Destruction of the mausoleums of Timbuktu: a verdict without surprise

    Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi had agreed to plead guilty and to collaborate fully with the ICC, on his case but also on that of Al Hassan, another leader of Ansar Dine in Timbuktu, whose trial for “war crimes and crimes against humanity ”is currently underway. Reasons why the prosecutor’s office supports his request for early release.

    Is this also the case in Timbuktu? Alpha San Chirfi, is a scholar of the City of 333 Saints and the representative of the Alpha Moya mausoleum, destroyed before his eyes in 2012 by the one then nicknamed Abu Turab. ” I have already forgiven. As long as the mausoleums have been rebuilt, there are no further complaints. When someone asks forgiveness, in our midst of Muslims and believers, we can only forgive him. “

    Last March, the ICC Compensation Fund released 2.7 million euros for direct victims for the destruction of the mausoleums and for the city of Timbuktu. No deadline has been given for the ICC’s response to Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi’s request for early release.


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