Yunus Loses Final Appeal

The Bangladeshi High Court has rejected an appeal from Muhammad Yunus, the Nobel Prize-winning founder and managing director of Grameen Bank, to overturn a lower court decision dismissing him from his position, the New York Times reports.

The court did not address a petition from the bank's board to overlook the fact that Yunus, 70, is well beyond the country's mandatory retirement age of 60, and it appears the decision is final. Yunus's lawyers plan to ask the court to review its ruling.

Actions to remove Yunus began last year after a documentary film alleged that Grameen improperly transferred $100 million in donated Norwegian government money to an affiliate. Norwegian officials have since absolved the bank of any wrongdoing, but the allegations fueled increasing criticism of microlending by politicians in Bangladesh and other developing countries — chief among them Bangladeshi prime minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed — who accuse microfinance lenders of exploiting the poor.

Lydia Polgreen. "Nobel Laureate Loses Last Legal Battle to Save Job at Bank." New York Times 04/05/2011.