What would make a court send a 90-year-old man sentence to 90 years in prison? Rape, incitement, murder and torture are just a few crimes on Ghulam Azam’s record.
He was tried and found guilty of planning, conspiracy, incitement, complicity, and murder and torture during the 1971 war for independence from Pakistan.
His prosecutor compared him to the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.
Ghulam Abbas may be frail and aging but still very powerful. Until 2000, he was the leader of Jamaat-e-Islami, a small but well-organized Islamist party.
According to the court Mr. Azam and his fellow group members were opposed to the Bangladeshi independence movement and actively collaborated with Pakistani military officials.
He is one of the several Islamist leaders to be convicted in recent months for collaborating with the Pakistani authorities during the 1971 war.
When Pakistan lost the war, Mr. Azam moved abroad and formed a government-in-exile in London called the East Pakistan Restoration Committee. Bangladesh canceled his citizenship in 1973, and for years he traveled on a Pakistani passport. However, he returned to Bangladesh in 1978. He was arrested in 2012.
Other Jamaat leaders convicted this year include Abul Kalam Azad or 'Bachhu Razakar', Abdul Quader Molla, aka the ‘butcher of Mirpur’, Delwar Hossain Sayedee and Muhammad Kamaruzzaman.
The war of independence cost Bangladesh the lives of over three million people and more than 200,000 women raped.
Several more such verdicts are expected in the coming months.
It was because of his age and health that the court says his death sentenced was changed in to a life in prison.