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Bangladeshi War Criminal Dies

  • VOA News

Former chief of Bangladesh's Islamic party Jamaat-e-Islami Ghulam Azam.

Former chief of Bangladesh's Islamic party Jamaat-e-Islami Ghulam Azam.

Former head of Bangladesh's largest Islamist party Ghulam Azam, who was sentenced to 90 years in prison for masterminding atrocities during the country's 1971 war, has died.

The 91-year-old Azam was the wartime head of the Jamaat-e-Islami party who later became its spiritual leader and a key player in the country's politics. He died of a heart attack late Thursday while in custody at a hospital in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka.

Last year Azam was found guilty of five charges of war crimes, including crimes against humanity, committed during Bangladesh's war for independence from Pakistan.

Prosecutors had sought the death penalty for Azam, comparing him to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, but he was given a prison term because of his age.

He had denied the charges, which his supporters argued were politically motivated.

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