07/15/2013 04:34 EDT | Updated 09/13/2013 05:12 EDT

Ghulam Azam Sentence: Ex-Islamic Party Chief In Bangladesh Gets 90 Years For War Crimes

Former head of opposition Jamaat-e-Islami party Ghulam Azam (C) escorted by security personnel and lawyers as he emerges from the Bangladesh International Crimes Tribunal in Dhaka on January 11, 2012. Bangladesh arrested an Islamist leader on charges of war crimes during the country's 1971 liberation struggle against Pakistan, lawyers said. AFP PHOTO/ Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

DHAKA, Bangladesh - A 91-year-old former chief of an Islamic party in Bangladesh has been sentenced to 90 years in jail for crimes against humanity during the country's 1971 independence war.

A special tribunal of three judges announced the decision against Ghulam Azam in a packed courtroom Monday in the Dhaka, the capital. The panel said the former leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami party deserved capital punishment, but received a jail sentence instead because of his advanced age.

Bangladesh says the Pakistani army killed 3 million people and raped 200,000 women with the assistance of local collaborators during the war.

The tribunal said Azam was guilty of all 61 charges under five categories: conspiracy, incitement, planning, abetment and failure to prevent killing.

Previous verdicts against Jamaat-e-Islami leaders have sparked violence.

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