Suspect in Timbuktu mausoleums destruction plans guilty plea

AP News
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Posted: Mar 24, 2016 2:48 PM

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor says an Islamic radical accused of involvement in the destruction of historic mausoleums in the Malian city of Timbuktu plans to plead guilty.

The court announced Thursday that evidence in the case against Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi is strong enough to merit sending him to trial. Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda then revealed that Al Mahdi told judges at a hearing earlier this month that he wants to plead guilty.

The case marks the first time a suspect in the court's custody has said he plans a guilty plea.

Bensouda says trial judges must now decide how to proceed in the case.

Prosecutors say Al Mahdi was part of a radical Islamic occupying force that destroyed most of Timbuktu's World Heritage-listed mausoleums in 2012.