Intl court orders alleged Mali jihadi leader to stand trial


International Criminal Court judges have ordered an alleged jihadi leader from Mali to stand trial on war crimes and crimes against humanity charges.

A pretrial chamber issued a confidential decision Monday confirming charges including torture, rape, sexual slavery and deliberately attacking religious buildings and historic monuments against Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud.

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The crimes were allegedly committed in Timbuktu during a brutal occupation of the historic desert city by Islamic extremists from April 2012 until January 2013.

The global court said in a statement that after studying evidence presented by prosecutors the judges concluded that there are “substantial grounds to believe that Mr. Al Hassan is responsible” for the crimes charged.

Prosecutors allege he was a key member of Ansar Dine, an al-Qaida-linked Islamic extremist group.