Indian intelligence foils suspected terror plot to assassinate Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is accused of using the war crime tribunal to further her power in government Reuters file photo

Mobarak Hossain, the former leader of Bangladesh's ruling party, has been sentenced to death for committing war crimes.

According to a ruling by a war crimes tribunal, the 64-year-old, who was expelled from the ruling Awami League party in 2011, was found guilty of mass killing, abduction and torture, although international human rights groups have warned that the tribunal falls short of global standards.

The charges relate to the period during the country's war of independence from Pakistan. In 2010, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina opened an inquiry into alleged war crimes committed by Hossain during the nine-month conflict.

According to Bangladeshi government figures, around 3 million people were killed during the war and thousands of women were raped.

However, international critics have said that Hasina was using the tribunal to gain power over the two largest opposition parties - Begum Khaleda Zia's Bangladesh Nationalist Party and its Islamist ally Jamaat-e-Islami.

The government denies the accusations.