DHAKA: A special Bangladeshi court on Monday sentenced an elderly top Islamist to 90 years in prison for masterminding atrocities during the 1971 war of independence against Pakistan.
Ghulam Azam, compared by prosecutors to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, was found guilty of all five charges of planning, conspiracy, incitement, complicity, and murder and torture during the war, which the government says killed three million people.
However, 90-year-old Azam, the wartime head of the country’s largest Islamic party, Jamaat-e-Islami, and now its spiritual leader, was spared the death penalty because of his age and health, and was instead sentenced to nine decades in prison, an official said.
“He was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt in all five charges. The tribunal observed that he deserved death penalty,” junior lawyer Gen. M.K. Rahman said.
“But because of his old age and health complications, he was sentenced separately in the five charges. In all he has been sentenced to 90 years in prison,” the lawyer said outside the court.