On August 22, 2016, Ahmad Al-Faqi Al Madhi admitted guilt at the start of his trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC). Al Madhi’s trial was concluded two days later on August 24, 2016. According to the press release, Al Madhi was accused of the war crime of intentionally directing attacks against historical monuments and buildings dedicated to religion. As a member of Ansar Eddine, an extremist group affiliated with Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Al Madhi was accused of destroying nine mausoleums and one mosque in Timbuktu, Mali, between June 30 and July 11, 2012. According to reports, independent investigators allege Al Mahdi also oversaw a campaign of rape and sexual violence during the occupation of Timbuktu, although the ICC only charged him with destruction of cultural property. In her opening statement, the ICC Prosecutor emphasized that “deliberate attacks on cultural property are often the precursor to the worst outrages against a population” and “our cultural heritage is a vital instrument of human development.” Al Madhi’s case was a series of firsts for the ICC; it was the Court’s first guilty plea, first case concerning Mali, first prosecution of an accused jihadist, and first case to focus on destruction of cultural heritage. The Court is scheduled to announce its judgment and hold a sentencing hearing on September 27, 2016.