Foreign Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud on Thursday said any statement "backed by lobbyists" on Nobel laureate Dr Muhammad Yunus would have no adverse impact on foreign investment inflow into the country.
"Look, there are several lobbyist firms engaged behind some people who are talking on the Dr Yunus issue. Investment will not be impacted if a statement is backed by lobbyists," he told reporters at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Foreign Minister said Dr Yunus has been in the discussion over the last 12 years and Bangladesh still received significant foreign investment.
"Foreign investment is increasing. There is no relation with that. This is simply a legal matter," said the Awami League joint general secretary.
He reiterated that Dr Yunus has been sentenced in a case filed by the aggrieved people, and the government is not a party to it.
"With due respect to Dr Yunus, I would like to say that aggrieved people filed the case. The government is not a party to it. It is a decision taken by the court. The government cannot interfere in it," he said.
Earlier, a Dhaka court sentenced Dr Yunus and three top officials of Grameen Telecom to six months' jail, with fine of Tk 25000 each, in a case over violation of labor law.
The others accused in the case are: Ashraful Hasan, CEO of Grameen Telecom Trust; trustee Nurjahan Begum; and managing director M Shahjahan.
They were accused of not making some workers and employees of Grameen Telecom permanent, not encashing public leave, and not depositing certain dividends to the Workers Welfare Foundation.
In the 84-page verdict, the judge said the charges of violating labor laws were proved against them. The court, however, granted them conditional bail.
Dr Yunus claimed that he had been punished for a crime he did not commit. "I have been punished for a crime that I haven't committed," Yunus told reporters after he was convicted in a case over violation of labor law. "If you want to call it justice, you can."