Nobel Peace Prize laureate Muhammad Yunus was found guilty on Monday (January 1) of violating labor laws in Bangladesh, a prosecutor reported to Agence France-Presse (AFP), in a case his Supporters consider it politically motivated.

“Professor Yunus and three of his colleagues at Grameen Telecom were found guilty under labor laws and sentenced to six months in prison,” prosecutor Khurshid Alam Khan told AFP. The four suspects were immediately released on bail pending appeal, he added.

The economist, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006, and his three collaborators were accused of not having created a provident fund within the company, founded by Mr. Yunus, and of having thus violated the law work. They reject these accusations.

A hundred other accusations

Muhammad Yunus, 83, faces around 100 other charges involving alleged labor violations and corruption allegations.

He is credited with lifting millions out of poverty through his pioneering microcredit bank, but he fell out with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who accused him of “sucking the blood” of the poor.

The economist was considered on the political scene as a rival to Ms. Hasina, almost assured of winning a fifth mandate in the legislative elections which are to be held on Sunday and which the opposition is boycotting.