Prosecutor seeks war crimes charges against Mali suspects


The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court on Monday asked judges to approve charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity levelled against a man suspected of committing atrocities in Timbuktu in Mali.

Al Hassan Abdoul Aziz is suspected of crimes including destroying cultural monuments and enforcing policies that led to the sexual enslavement of women and girls, allegedly committed while he acted as the de-facto chief of Islamic police in Timbuktu during a 2012-2013 rebel takeover of the city.

In a hearing to determine whether her case against Al Hassan can proceed, Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda argued that he bore important responsibility for abuses of the civilian population during the 2012-2013 conflict in northern Mali.

After the Ansar Dine Islamist rebel group took control of Timbuktu, civilians “were subjected to a climate of constant fear and repression,” Bensouda told judges.