Nobel laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus has committed seditious offence by plotting a conspiracy against the Bangladesh government and therefore, he is liable to punishment, experts say.
Grameen Bank founder Yunus used his links with the then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to pressurize the government to drop a pecuniary irregularity investigation against him.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s US expatriate son Sajeeb Wazed Joy was asked to convince his mother and the government to stop the investigation against Yunus. Joy was threatened with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audit if he fails to help drop the investigation.
Recently, the issue came to the fore and sparked controversy at home and abroad.
Many think that the role of Yunus in using foreign state machinery to put pressure on the government is tantamount to seditious offence.
Hillary should not have interfered in the antenatal affairs of other country. Hillary has shown utter disregard for the international law.
Dr Tureen Afroz, prosecutor of International Crimes Tribunal, said “According to international law, no country should interfere in internal affairs of other countries. If allegation against Hillary is found to be true, it can be said that she violated the international law.”
If Yunus is found to be involved in conspiracy against the state, he should be tried for act of treason and be punished, she noted.
Prof Giasuddin Molla, a political science teacher of Dhaka University and president of Rastrabigyan Samity, said Yunus wanted Hillary to pressurise Bangladesh government to drop investigation against him. “Yunus donated a huge amount of money to Clinton Foundation. He conspired against an elected government of Bangladesh. He should be punished.”
Recently, US Senate Committee on the Judiciary has taken initiative to verify the allegation that Hillary Clinton used her official position to interrupt an ‘independent investigation’ against Yunus.
In a letter, committee chairman Senator Chuck Grassley required the State Department to make former deputy chief of mission at the US Embassy in Dhaka Jon Danilowicz available for an interview with the committee members as part of the move to verify the allegation against Hillary.
On June 1, Chuck Grassley wrote the letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, asking him to provide some information by June 15 in this regard.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s son Sajeeb Wazed Joy living in the US was threatened with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audit if he fails to help drop investigation against Dr Yunus. Grassley wrote: “If the secretary of state used her position to intervene in an independent investigation by a sovereign government simply because of a personal and financial relationship stemming from the Clinton Foundation rather than the legitimate foreign policy interests of the United States, then that would be unacceptable.”
Yunus was removed from Grameen Bank as its managing director on the grounds of his exceeding the retirement age in 2011. He also faced an allegation of laundering bank fund abroad.
The Nobel laureate filed a writ petition with the High Court challenging the legality of his removal but lost the legal battle.
According to the letter, Joy had a number of interactions with high-level State Department officials during 2010-2012 period. He faced pressure to drop the investigation.
Some of the individuals he met include former ambassadors in Dhaka James Moriarty and Dan Mozena, Deputy Chief of Mission Danilowicz and USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah.
Dr Yunus, Grameen Bank founder, is very close to the Clinton family. Yunus’ companies reportedly donated $100,000 to $250,000 to the Clinton Global Initiative and $25,000 to $50,000 to the Clinton Foundation. After Hillary became US Secretary of State, his relation with the Clinton family deepened.
On May 11 this year, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said Clinton called her office in March 2011 and demanded that Yunus be restored to his position of chairman of Grameen Bank.
However, the Bangladesh government has welcomed the move of the US Senate Committee to look into Hillary Clinton’s alleged hands in the interference in an ‘independent investigation’ against Dr Yunus.