Prince Charles’ charity accepted 1 million pound donation from Osama Bin Laden’s family: Report

Prince Charles the heir to the British throne

Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne

Photo : ANI

London: Two years after the death of Osama bin Laden, Prince Charles – the heir to the British throne – accepted a £ 1 million (approximately Rs 9.64 crore) donation to his charitable foundation from the al-Qaeda leader’s family. Officials however insisted that ‘thorough due diligence was undertaken’ before the Prince of Wales’ Charitable Fund accepted the donation from the noted terrorist’s family.
According to a report by The Sunday Times, royal advisors had urged Prince Charles to not take the donation. Clarence House has however made it clear that the ultimate decision lay with the trustees of the foundation. The organisation has also said that the donation from Sheik Bakr bin Laden in 2013 was carefully considered by the trustees at the time.

Founded by the Prince of Wales in 1979, PWCF awards grants to UK-registered non-profit organisations for projects in the UK, Commonwealth and other countries. It is currently chaired by British businessman Sir Ian Michael Cheshire. According to him, the donation was agreed upon by the five trustees.

Osama bin Laden was the mastermind behind the September 11 terror attacks of 2001, which killed nearly 3,000 people in the US.

According to the report, Charles had bet with Bakr – the patriarch of the wealthy Saudi family – some two years after Osama bin Laden was killed by US special forces in Pakistan. At this time, several of the senior royal’s closest advisers had urged him to return the money. His Clarence House office has denied that the royal was personally involved in the decision.

Earlier in February the British police had launched an investigation into another of Charles’s charitable foundations over claims of a cash-for-honours scandal involving a Saudi businessman. The head of The Prince’s Foundation resigned last year after an internal investigation into allegation that he had coordinated efforts to grant a royal honour and even UK citizenship to a Saudi tycoon.

Michael Fawcett, chief executive of the foundation, had initially agreed to suspend his duties following newspaper revelations about his links to the Saudi national. The man, tycoon Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz, had donated large sums to restoration projects of particular interest to Charles. Mahfouz reportedly denies any wrongdoing.

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