A person is innocent until found guilty
Dr Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank, yesterday said a person is innocent until found guilty.
"Allegations might be raised against someone, but no one should be deemed guilty until it is proven," said Nobel laureate Yunus at the capital's Shahjalal International Airport upon his arrival from France in the morning.
He said the issue that gave rise to the allegations against the bank was resolved years back. “But since the matter was brought up again, it seems that the Norwegian minister absolved the institution from the allegations recently.”
The country's media could have verified the issue before publishing the report of a Danish journalist aired by a Norwegian television, Yunus said.
“We have to be careful lest we punish the nation through punishing an institution,” he noted. People from all over the world saw the reports published in the Bangladeshi dailies.
Referring to the reports, he said, “We have caused irreparable damage to the nation.”
The journalists of the country relied on the Danish journalist and took his report as irrefutable truth.
“Could we not probe the matter on our own?" he questioned.
Grameen Bank officials said Prof Yunus will hold a formal press conference today.
A documentary, "Fanget i Mikrogjeld" or "Caught in Micro debt" aired on the National Norwegian Television, NRK, brought allegations that Grameen Bank had transferred about $100 million it received from donors to Grameen Kalyan in 1996 and got back the money as loan in breach of the agreement with the donors. This led to a spat between the Norwegian government and Grameen Bank.
On Wednesday, Erik Solheim, Norwegian minister for environment and international development, clarified that Grameen Bank had not embezzled the fund or used the money for unintended purposes.