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World

Former rebel pleads guilty at Timbuktu trial

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Opening sequence

World

Former rebel pleads guilty at Timbuktu trial

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COMING UP:Former rebel pleads guilty at Timbuktu trial

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00:00:00
>>
FOREIGN]
00:00:24
The shrines have now been rebuilt and Reuters Toby Sterling in Amsterdam says Mahdi wants to leave all that behind.>> He pleaded guilty. He said that he in fact had done everything that he was accused of doing, smashing these ancient shrines that date back to the 14th century.
00:00:42
He was very remorseful, he told the judges that it was the biggest mistake of his life and that he actually hoped for a long prison sentence. Long enough that he could be forgiven by his own society and eventually reintegrated.>> The case is a first for the ICC on three counts.
00:01:05
It's their first hardline Islamist, their first guilty plea, and the first indictment focused on the destruction of cultural artifacts. Mahdi's confession is likely to lead to a conviction, which is also rare for this court.>> That there haven't been that many convictions actually in the 14 years that it's been in existence, there have only been three other convictions.
00:01:25
It's very likely now that he will be convicted, though that still has to happen. It also saves a lot of time and money, to put it bluntly, for the court to have a case that goes smoothly and where everyone agrees what's been done is a crime.>> The ICC now also being urged to charge Islamic State fighters for the destruction of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra.
00:01:49
Syria isn't a member of the ICC, this is only possible if the UN refers the case and even if that happens, it's unlikely to play out as smoothly as this.>>