Prince Charles’ charity received $1.2m donation from bin Ladens, report says
Britain’s Prince Charles faces more questions about his charities after a newspaper reported one of his funds accepted a $1.2million donation from relatives of Osama Ben Laden.
The Sunday Times reported that the Prince of Wales Charitable Fund received the money in 2013 from Bakr bin Laden, patriarch of the big and wealthy Saudi family, and his brother Shafiq. Both are half-brothers of the former leader of al-Qaeda, who was killed by US special forces in Pakistan in 2011.
The newspaper said advisers had urged the heir to the throne not to accept the donation.
Charles’ office at Clarence House disputed this, but confirmed that the donation had been made. He said the decision to accept the money was made by the trustees of the charity, not the prince, and “extensive due diligence was undertaken in accepting this donation”.
Fund chairman Ian Cheshire also said the donation was accepted “in full” by all five trustees at the time, and that “any attempt to suggest otherwise is misleading and inaccurate”.
The Prince of Wales’ Charitable Fund was founded in 1979 to “transform lives and build sustainable communities”, and provides grants to a wide variety of projects in Britain and around the world.
Charles, 73, has faced a series of complaints about the operation of his charities. Last month, The Sunday Times reported that he had accepted money bags containing $3 million from Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, the former Prime Minister of Qatar.
London police are now investigating a separate allegation that people associated with another of the prince’s charities, the Prince’s Foundation, offered to help a Saudi billionaire achieve honors and citizenship in return for donations. Clarence House said Charles had no knowledge of any such offer.