Islamist militant Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi is liable for more than $3 million dollars in reparations for ordering the destruction of ancient landmarks in Timbuktu, Mail, the International Criminal Court (ICC) ruled Thursday.
Mahdi is the first Islamist to ever be tried by the ICC for war crimes related to the destruction of cultural heritage. He was sentenced to serve nine years in prison last September after pleading guilty to destroying historic shrines at a world heritage site in Mali in 2012.
The court, located in the Hague, said attacks on historic sites “destroy part of humanity’s shared memory and collective consciousness, and render humanity unable to transmit its values and knowledge to future generations.”
Judge Raul Cano Pangalangan said the $3.1 million will cover reparations for the destruction of five buildings and go to the local community to help it protect the sites in the future.
Mahdi was a member of the al-Qaida-linked Ansar Dine group. He has admitted to all charges and expressed regret over his actions during previous hearings.
“I would like to give a piece of advice to all Muslims in the world, not to get involved in the same acts I got involved in, because they are not going to lead to any good for humanity,” Mahdi said in court during his first trial, BBC reports.