Mymensnigh —A judge has bailed Muhammmad Yunus on a Tk 5,000 bond in a defamation suit filed by a local politician.
The Nobel peace laureate was ordered on Tuesday to appear again on Feb 20 by senior megistrate Rozina Khan.
A group of Left-wing politicians were furious that the proponent of micro-credit branded all politicians greedy and money-mongers in an interview with international wire service AFP days after a military-installed caretaker government took over in Bangladesh in Jan 2007.
The Jan 17, 2007 interview given to AFP at the Grameen Bank headquarters in Dhaka, according to the case documents, prompted the district general secretary of JSD (national socialist party) Nazrul Islam Chunnu to file the case four days later on Jan 21.
Several senior local Left politicians testified against Yunus, who was widely believed to have been patronized by the then army leadership in 2007 to float a political party of his own.
The case documents say Yunus made derogatory comments against politicians in general, calling them greedy self-seekers. "They are only after money. Their politics has nothing to do with ideology," Yunus was quoted in the case documents to have said in that interview.
Months after winning the Nobel peace prize, Yunus sought to use his new-found fame to further his political ambition and was backed by a section of ambitious civil society activists including newspaper editors.
The bid to launch party – Nagorik Shakti – fell apart spectacularly, and Yunus soon found himself friendless in Bangladesh and focused more on enhancing his international image.
He was soon rewarded with seats on various international boards and began at one stage rubbing shoulders with the likes of Nelson Mandela.
But his 2007-08 tirade against Bangladesh politicians across the board continues to cost him dearly and his handing of Grameen Bank, funded and founded by the government of Bangladesh, raises many ethical questions.
His inappropriate handing of international donor funds has seen him being charged and then forgiven, but the legal clearance has not exonerated him of his alleged moral crime.