International Criminal Court probing potential war crimes in Mali
Bamako, Oct 19: Months after finding an ex-jihadist guilty liable for millions worth of damage in Mali, the International Criminal Court has said it was investigating several potential war crimes including murder in Mali.
"Our investigations are continuing (into) other crimes... sexual crimes and crimes against peacekeepers, killings and all those," ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda told reporters in Bamako.
The Hague-based tribunal said in August that ex-jihadist Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi caused 2.7 million euros worth of damage when he destroyed several fabled shrines in Timbuktu, in northern Mali, during the jihadist takeover there in 2012.
The judges further ordered that the Malian state, as well as the international community, be compensated with a symbolic amount of one euro for the damages suffered.
Al-Mahdi was jailed for nine years in 2016 after he pleaded guilty to directing attacks on the UNESCO world heritage site and apologised to the Timbuktu community. It was a landmark case for the ICC as it was the first time a jihadist had pleaded guilty to a war crimes charge.
Bensouda said the court was expanding its investigation in Mali, which is home to a 13,000-strong UN peacekeeping mission.
"I am not in a position to talk about what else is being done regards to Al-Mahdi proper but all I can tell you the court is looking at other crimes within the context of our investigations in Mali," she said.