Islamist's trial over Timbuktu cultural destruction to open at The Hague

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Ahmad al-Mahdi expected to plead guilty to ordering destruction of mausoleums and mosque in ancient African city. An Islamic extremist accused of destroying religious monuments in the ancient city of Timbuktu will be tried for war crimes in a ground-breaking case at the international criminal court this week.Ahmad al-Mahdi, a former junior civil servant in Mali’s department of education, joins the ranks of the world’s most notorious dictators and warlords in being tried by the court. His alleged crimes, however, are not those usually dealt with by The Hague’s prosecutors: the destruction of small mausoleums made from mud in the middle of the desert.


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