Yoghurt adulteration allegations lands Yunus in court

A Bangladeshi court Thursday granted bail to Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, amid allegations that a sister concern of his Grameen Bank marketed contaminated yoghurt, officials said.

Updated: Jan 27, 2011, 22:58 PM IST

Dhaka: A Bangladeshi court Thursday granted
bail to Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, amid
allegations that a sister concern of his Grameen Bank marketed
contaminated yoghurt, officials said.

Yunus appeared in Food Court of Dhaka City Corporation
over allegations that a sister concern of his Grameen Bank
marketed contaminated yoghurt in market, officials said.

They said the Court granted him bail and also exempted
Yunus from personal appearance during the next hearing of the
case.

"I prayed for my bail and I got justice...the case is
now under trial process," Yunus told reporters while coming
out of court.

Food Inspector of Dhaka City Corporation Kamrul Islam
filed the case earlier this month, alleging the `Shakti Doi`,
the brand of yoghurt produced Grameen Danone Foods, which was
found adulterated in a laboratory test.

His lawyers told the court that the Nobel Laureate did
not have any relation with the overall management of the
Grameen Danone Foods that produced the yoghurt.

Yunus is the chairman of Grameen Danone Foods, a
sister concern of Grameen Bank.

The development came nine days after a court in
northern Mymensingh granted him bail following his personal
appearance on a defamation suit filed in 2007 by a local
politician.

Nazrul Islam Chunnu, Mymensingh unit joint secretary
of left leaning Jatya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD), filed the case
three years ago.

Yunus won the Nobel Peace Prize along with his Grameen
Bank in 2006 for his microcredit banking in Bangladesh.

His legal woes in Bangladesh have led to speculation
-- denied by the government -- that they stem from personal
differences with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

A committee was earlier asked to review Grameen Bank`s
working and allegation of mishandling of funds.

An earlier documentary and subsequent media reports
alleged that Yunus had diverted USD 100 million meant for
microcredit lending of Grameen Bank to its sister venture
Grameen Kalyan, also a non-profit welfare company breeching
Bangladesh?s financial laws and agreements with the donor.

Yunus has denied the allegations. The Norwegian donor
earlier gave a clean chit to Grameen Bank founder Muhammad
Yunus, saying it found no evidence of donor fund embezzlement
by his bank, removing a cloud that had hovered over the Nobel
Laureate.

"There is no indication that Norwegian funds have been
used for unintended purposes, or that Grameen Bank has engaged
in corrupt practices or embezzled funds," Norwegian Minister
for Environment and International Development Erik Solheim
said in a statement issued by the country?s foreign ministry.

PTI