Bangladeshi Nobel peace laureate Muhammad Yunus at a court in Dhaka on January 1, 2024. Image Credit: AFP

DHAKA: Nobel peace laureate Muhammad Yunus was convicted on Monday of violating Bangladesh’s labour laws, a prosecutor told AFP.

“Professor Yunus and three of his Grameen Telecom colleagues were convicted under labour laws and sentenced to six months in simple imprisonment,” prosecutor Khurshid Alam Khan told AFP, adding that all four were immediately granted bail pending appeals.

Yunus, 83, is credited with lifting millions out of poverty with his pioneering microfinance bank.

Economist Yunus and three colleagues from Grameen Telecom, one of the firms he founded, are accused of violating labour laws when they failed to create a workers’ welfare fund in the company.

All four deny the charges.

“We proved that Professor Muhammad Yunus and others have violated the mandatory requirements of the labour laws,” Khurshid Alam Khan, the lead prosecutor, told AFP ahead of the verdict.

Yunus is facing more than 100 other charges over labour law violations and alleged graft.

Yunus told reporters after one of the hearings last month that he had not profited from any of the more than 50 social business firms he had set up in Bangladesh.

“They were not for my personal benefit,” Yunus said.