Prince Charles notes that he brokered a donation of £1 million from bin Laden to his charitable foundation


Clarence House, Prince Charles’ residence, has cast doubt on allegations published in Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper that the heir to the throne brokered a deal in 2013 to accept a £1m charitable donation from Osama bin Laden’s half-brothers.

The Sunday Times, citing unnamed sources, reported that Prince Charles accepted the donation from Bakr and Shafiq bin Laden to the Prince of Wales Charitable Fund despite the objections of key advisers at the time.

Clarence House questioned that assertion on Saturday, saying the decision to accept the money was made by the charity’s trustees, not Prince Charles.

“The Prince of Wales Charitable Trust has assured us that due care was taken in accepting this donation,” Clarence House said in a statement. “The decision to accept was made solely by the trustees of the charity and any attempt to characterize it otherwise is wrong.”

Bakr bin Laden is the former head of the Saudi Binladin Construction Group, headquartered in Jeddah. US court documents showed that Osama bin Laden was removed as a shareholder in the family business in 1993, when Bakr bin Laden was its chairman.

Osama bin Laden was the leader of al-Qaeda when the network carried out the September 11 attacks in New York in 2001. US Special Forces killed him in an operation 10 years later.

Neither Bakr nor Shafiq bin Laden are known to be associated with terrorist activities or appear on any counter-terrorism sanctions lists issued by the United Nations or the US, EU and UK governments.

According to a Sunday Times report, Prince Charles got the money after meeting Bakr bin Laden, and agreed to donate, despite “the initial objection of advisers at Clarence House” and the PWCF.

The PWCF also responded to the Sunday Times report saying that “Sheikh Bakr bin Laden’s donation was carefully considered by the PWCF trustees. Due diligence was conducted, with information requested from a wide range of sources, including the government.”

A royal source told CNN they disputed The Sunday Times’ allegations that Prince Charles had personally accepted the donation, that he brokered the deal and that advisers around Prince Charles demanded that he return the money at the time.

A source close to the PWCF said that “after a thorough examination of the cases, the trustees concluded that the actions of a member of the bin Laden family should not taint the entire family.”

The Sunday Times reported in June that Prince Charles accepted charitable donations in the form of cash from Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, the former prime minister of Qatar, between 2011 and 2015. Clarence House also disputed the details of the June report. He said the “correct procedures” were followed in terms of accepting the donation.

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