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World ICC: lawyer of the alleged jihadist Ahmed Al-Hassan asks the judges to close the case

02:40  01 july  2020
02:40  01 july  2020 Source:   rfi.fr

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Al Hassan ’s alleged offences were committed during the occupation of Timbuktu by radical Islamist groups almost six years ago. The ICC has only ever attempted one prosecution involving the charge of persecution on the grounds of gender, but the charges were dropped and the case did not reach trial.

Alleged jihadist leader Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud appears for the first Prosecutors allege the 40-year-old "committed crimes against humanity and war crimes in Timbuktu, Mali Hassan is the second Islamic extremist to face trial at the ICC for the destruction of Timbuktu

Al-Hassan est accusé de crimes contre l’humanité et crimes de guerre commis à Tombouctou entre avril 2012 et janvier 2013. (image d'illustration) © Peter Langer / Getty Images Al-Hassan is accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Timbuktu between April 2012 and January 2013. (illustration image)

Two weeks before the opening of the trial of Ahmed Al-Hassan before the International Criminal Court, his lawyer requests the closure of the case and the release of the accused. Ahmed Al-Hassan is being prosecuted for crimes against humanity and war crimes committed during the occupation of Timbuktu by Ansar Dine and Aqmi, in 2012. This former police commissioner of morals is said to be suffering from post-traumatic stress, after being tortured during his arrest.

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Mr Al Hassan is alleged to have played a prominent role in the commission of crimes and religious and gender-based persecution by those armed groups against the civilian population of Timbuktu. · Mr Al - Hassan was a member of Ansar Eddine and de facto chief of the Islamic police.

The ICC 's judges found Ahmad al -Faqi al -Mahdi guilty of directing attacks on the UNESCO world heritage site during the jihadist takeover of northern Mali in 2012. Hassan , a member of the Tuareg tribe, however has been further charged with "persecution on both religious and gender grounds; rape

With our correspondent in The Hague, Stéphanie Maupas

Ahmed Al-Hassan had been arrested in April 2017 by Barkhane force, then detained by the Malian DST. According to his lawyer, he was then tortured several times. Maître Taylor therefore asked the judges to close the case and release him.

At the time, before was transferred to The Hague , investigators from the prosecutor's office had repeatedly questioned the former Timbuktu morals police commissioner. Ahmed Al-Hassan then complained of the lack of care and food. He allegedly claimed to be regularly beaten and subjected to waterboarding.

According to his lawyer, the prosecutor's office did nothing. Maître Taylor added that witnesses to the prosecution were also ill-treated. For her, no testimony recorded under torture can be validated by a court.

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Prosecutors allege the 40-year-old "committed crimes against humanity and war crimes in Timbuktu A member of the Ansar Dine jihadist group, Hassan was the "de facto chief of the Islamic police" In the court 's first case to focus on cultural destruction, the ICC judges found Ahmad al -Faqi al -Mahdi

ICC -CPI-20180404-PR1377. Mr Al Hassan during his initial appearance before the ICC on 4 April 2018 © ICC -CPI. If the charges are confirmed, the case will be transferred to a Trial Chamber, which will He is also alleged to have been involved in the work of the Islamic court in Timbuktu and to have

The trial could nevertheless start before the judges' decision. The prosecution suggests that they deal with the matter at the same time and exclude testimony that is deemed inadmissible.

During a hearing on Tuesday, the Australian lawyer also explained that with the pandemic, she has not been able to meet her client in prison since March. Prosecutor Gilles Dutertre also asked the judges to be flexible. The first witnesses are expected to testify at the end of August. But with the Covid-19, it will be complicated to bring them from Mali.

Read also: [Info RFI] Mali delivers an alleged jihadist to the ICC

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