The International Criminal Court (ICC) has taken into custody a suspect implicated with war crimes and crimes against humanity in Mali.
Al Hasan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed, was indicted for crimes committed as de-facto chief of Islamic police in Timbuktu in 2012 and 2013. Crimes which included destroying cultural monuments and enforcing policies that led to the sexual enslavement of women and girls, reports Reuters.
Judges at the Hague said prosecutors had presented enough evidence to issue an arrest warrant for crimes against humanity including “torture, rape and sexual slavery; persecution of the inhabitants of Timbuktu on religious and gender grounds; and other inhumane acts.”
In a statement released after the arrest, Chief Prosecutor of the ICC Fatou Bensouda said, she had asked judges to issue the arrest warrant on March 20 resulting in Malian and Dutch authorities cooperating with the handover.
Al Hassan will have a initial court appearance next week, where he will be informed of the allegations outline din his arrest warrant.
The only other man tried by the ICC in Mali’s conflict admitted to destroying cultural sites in Timbuktu in 2016, with it being the first time a suspected Islamist militant.