New Delhi: The International Criminal Court (IIC) on Tuesday sentenced a former Malian fighter to 9 years in prison. The fighter is accused of destroying shrines and historic sites in Timbuktu during Mali’s conflict of 2012. 
The bench of judges that conducted the judgement consists of three judges who expect that the judgement will send a strong message to safeguard the world’s ancient monuments. 
Judge Raul Pangalangan said, “The chamber unanimously finds that Mr al-Mahdi is guilty of the crime of attacking protected sites as a war crime.”
Earlier during a two-day trial Mahdi asked for forgiveness and urged all Muslims not to follow his steps.
As per reports, the prosecution and the defence requested a sentence of between 9 and 11 years in prison. But the judges were free to ignore such suggestions and award him a sentence of up to 30 years. 
During the trail, the prosecutor compared the attacks to the destruction of monuments in the Syrian city of Palmyra by the IS (Islamic State).

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