A special tribunal dealing with war crimes committed during Bangladesh's independence war against Pakistan in 1971 has sentenced a former lawmaker to death and seven others to life in prison for murder and other crimes.

The tribunal sentenced Sakhawat Hossain, a former parliament member belonging to the Jamaat-e-Islami party, to death on Wednesday. He and one of the other defendants were present in the court. The six others were tried in absentia.

Hossain was a central committee member of Islami Chhatra Sangha, the student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami party at the time, and was accused of acting as a local commander of a group that aided Pakistani soldiers.

Bangladesh says Pakistani soldiers, aided by local collaborators, killed 3 million people and raped 200,000 women in 1971.