Prince Charles took $1.7 million charity donation from bin Laden clan: Report

The Prince of Wales accepted a million-pound payment from the family of Osama bin Laden, The Sunday Times reports.

It says Charles secured the money from Bakr bin Laden, the patriarch of the wealthy Saudi clan, and his brother, Shafiq, who are half-brothers of the former al-Qaeda leader.

Clarence House said the decision to accept the donation to the heir to the throne’s charity, the Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund, was taken solely by trustees.

The Times said Charles, 73, had a private meeting with Bakr, 76, at Clarence House in London on October 30, 2013, two years after Osama bin Laden was killed by US special forces in Pakistan.

He agreed to the donation, despite the objections of advisers at Clarence House and the PWCF, where the money was deposited, the newspaper said.

It said several advisers pleaded with the prince in person to return the money and he was told by one of his household staff it “would not be good for anybody”.

Endorsed by trustees

Clarence House disputed many of the claims and Ian Cheshire, chairman of PWCF, said the donation was agreed “wholly” by the five trustees at the time.

The charity, which was founded in 1979 with a mission to transform lives and build sustainable communities, awards grants to British-registered non-profit organisations to deliver projects in Britain, the Commonwealth and other nations.

“The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund has assured us that thorough due diligence was undertaken in accepting this donation,” Clarence House said.

“The decision to accept was taken by the charity’s trustees alone and any attempt to characterise it otherwise is false.”

Mr Cheshire said the donation from Sheik Bakr bin Laden in 2013 was carefully considered by PWCF trustees.

“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.”


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