Dhaka, August 4: Washington-based news and opinion website The Daily Caller has said it unearthed former US Secretary of Sate Hillary Clinton’s attempt to intimidate Bangladesh to protect Dr Mohamad Yunus as a graft investigation was underway against him.
“Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attempted to bully tiny Bangladesh to force it to end a corruption investigation of Mohammad Yunus, a long-time Clinton family friend and Clinton Foundation donor,” the August 1 issue of the Caller read.
The newspaper said according to documents obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group “shed new, disturbing light on Clinton’s use of hard-ball tactics against the poorest country in South Asia in order to help her millionaire friend and foundation donor”.
It said the information came as two Bangladeshi government documents generated as part of a request from the US Congress indicating that Hillary “deployed an array of high-powered Department of State, U.S. Embassy and World Bank officials to rescue Yunus”.
Yunus, it said, faced financial mismanagement charges at a state-owned bank called Grameen Bank while he was eventually removed from the bank.
“Yunus’ net worth is estimated at $10 million and his own U.S.-based nonprofits donated up to $300,000 to the Clinton Foundation,” the report read.
The Caller said in 2010, as the Grameen Bank managing director, Yunus faced multiple charges of financial improprieties, including accusations in a Danish documentary that he diverted $100 million from Grameen and transferred them toward his own entities.
“(Hillary) Clinton repeatedly and directly threatened Bangladesh on behalf of Yunus, warning Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina that the World Bank could revoke a previously approved $1.2 billion loan to build a key bridge over the Padma River,” the report read.
The United States is the largest donor to the World Bank and in 2011 contributed $1.5 billion to the bank while “Clinton, as secretary of state, wielded tremendous influence over it”.
“Clinton’s action on the bridge was designed to undermine and humiliate Hasina, one of the only female heads of state in the Muslim world,” the Caller commented.
She hoped to build a road-rail bridge over the river to link undeveloped regions of the country to Dhaka, the capital city, which would generate new business investment and create thousands of jobs.
It referred to The Wall Street Journal described the Padma River project as “a centerpiece” of Hasina’s pledge to improve infrastructure in the country as she hoped to build a road-rail bridge over the river to link undeveloped regions of the country to Dhaka, the capital city, which would generate new business investment and create thousands of jobs.
“The report of Clinton’s brass knuckle tactics and her use of the World Bank on behalf of a Clinton foundation donor could widen an ongoing investigation by the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, which is examining pressure tactics she used against the small South Asian country,” the Caller report said.
The newspaper said Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton originally became friends with Yunus when Bill was governor of Arkansas.
Both were enchanted with his vision of micro-finance, and Bill is credited with lobbying on his behalf to secure Yunus the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize.
“Yunus also has been a regular fixture at the Clinton Global Initiative meetings. A search of the foundation’s website shows it issued 41 press releases praising Yunus,” it read.