Report: Prince Charles Secured Over $1mln Donation from Bin Laden Family
Story Code : 1006929
Charles, 73, met with Bakr bin Laden, the patriarch of the Saudi family, and his brother, Shafiq, at Clarence House in London on October 30, 2013, to broker the payment, according to the Sunday Times of London.
The men are the half-brothers of Osama bin Laden and the meeting came two years after the terrorist was killed by US special forces in Pakistan.
The paper reported that the future king agreed to the contribution despite objections from his advisors at Clarence House, the prince’s London residence, and at the Prince of Wales Charitable Fund, saying at least one of the organization’s trustees pleaded with him to return the cash.
Advisors told him if word leaked of the transaction, it would cause national outrage and damage his reputation, the paper said.
“The fact that a member of the highest level of the British establishment was choosing to broker deals with a name and a family that not only rang alarm bells, but abject horror around the world . . . why would you do this? What good reason is there to do this?” a source told the paper.
Charles was said to have felt it would be too embarrassing to hand the money back to the bin Laden brothers, who are not believed to be involved in any terrorist acts.
Sir Ian Cheshire, the chairman of the Prince of Wales Charitable Fund told the STOL that the donation was agreed to “wholly” by the organization’s five trustees.
“The donation from Sheik Bakr Bin Laden in 2013 was carefully considered by PWCF Trustees at the time. Due diligence was conducted, with information sought from a wide range of sources, including government. The decision to accept the donation was taken wholly by the trustees. Any attempt to suggest otherwise is misleading and inaccurate,” Chesire told the paper.
A spokeswoman for Clarence House said the charity “has assured us that thorough due diligence was undertaken in accepting this donation. The decision to accept was taken by the charity’s trustees alone and any attempt to characterize it otherwise is false”.
Charles was reported to have received other questionable donations to his charity from a controversial Qatari politician with the cash delivered from 2011 to 2015 in duffel bags, a suitcase, and several branded shopping bags from the famed Fortnum & Mason department store.
The revelations led a royal source to say that donations were no longer accepted in that manner.