The first war crimes tribunal had sentenced Sayedee to death for two charges of murder and arson on Feb 28, 2013.
The sentence was reduced to ‘imprisonment until death, on Wednesday by the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Md Muzammel Hossain.
This verdict held Sayedee guilty in five charges (charge 7 with 10 years, charge 8 – 12 years, and charges 10, 16 and 19 with imprisonment till death).
The previous judgment convicted him of eight of the 20 charges of crimes against humanity levelled against the man whose fiery sermons, which sometimes bordered on vulgarity, earned him a mass following.
The appeal verdict stated that Sayedee, known by his trademark hennaed beard, would remain in prison for the rest of his ‘natural life’, for having been found guilty in three charges.
These include the murder of Bisabali and arson in his Hindu neighbourhood. Sayedee had led a band of armed assailants during the 1971 Liberation War to a Hindu community.
Bisabali, a Bengali Hindu, was tied up to a coconut tree and shot dead at Sayedee’s instigation.
Sayedee was the man who was instrumental in the abduction and rape of Gauranga Saha’s three sisters. The Jamaat Nayeb-e-Amir had led Pakistani soldiers to Saha’s hut and taken away his three sisters.
Saha described the incidents in vivid detail to the court when he was summoned as a witness. His three sisters came back three days later from the nearby army camp where they were repeatedly raped and tortured.
Sayedee was also sentenced to prison until death for forcible conversion of 100-150 Hindus including Gauranga Saha.
The appeals verdict reduced a death sentence to imprisonment for 12 years in a murder charge where one Ibrahim Kutti was shot dead by Pakistani soldiers at Sayedee’s instigation.
The Islamist leader was sentenced to 10 years in prison for aiding the Pakistani army in the arrest of an Awami League leader Nurul Islam, whose son Shahidul Islam was a freedom fighter.
The Pakistani soldiers took Nurul Islam in custody and tortured him later. The troops also set fire to Nurul Islam’s house after looting their belongings.