Muhammad Yunus is facing more than 100 other charges over labour law violations and alleged graft. — AFP/File

Muhammad Yunus, the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, was sentenced to six months in prison by a Bangladeshi court on Monday for violating labour laws, as per the prosecution.

Yunus claimed that he had not committed the crime according to Reuters.

By providing small loans of less than $100 to Bangladesh’s rural poor, Yunus, then 83, and his Grameen Bank were able to raise millions out of poverty and launch the global movement known as microcredit. Yunus and his bank were awarded the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts.

But Sheikh Hasina, the prime minister, charged that he was “sucking blood from the poor”. His supporters claim that because he had thought of forming a political party to challenge Hasina’s Awami League, the government is trying to paint him in a negative light.

Economist Yunus, along with three workers from his company Grameen Telecom, was found guilty on Monday of neglecting to establish a welfare fund for his staff members.

“This verdict against me is contrary to all legal precedent and logic. I call for the Bangladeshi people to speak in one voice against injustice and in favour of democracy and human rights for each and every one of our citizens,” he said in a statement after the verdict.

In response to the accused’s petitions, the judge granted them bail while they planned to file an appeal.

“The court granted their bail, giving them one month to file an appeal against the verdict of the court,” prosecutor Khurshid Alam Khan said.

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