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 five charges of planning, conspiracy, incitement, complicity, and murder and torture during the war.
However, 91-year-old Azam, the wartime head of the country’s largest Islamic party, Jamaat-e-Islami was spared the death penalty because of his age and health, an official said.
“He was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt in all five charges. The tribunal observed that he deserved death penalty,” junior attorney general MK Rahman said. “Some kind of justice is done but we are not happy.”
Street violence erupted across Bangladesh ahead of the judgment, handed down by the controversial International Crimes Tribunal. Supporters clashed with police, who fired rubber bullets at Jamaat activists armed with homemade bombs.