LONDON – Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, faced a new scrutiny of his charities’ funding on Saturday after a report found that one organization accepted a £1 million ($1.21 million) donation from Osama bin’s family. Laden.
As first reported by London’s The Sunday Times.The Prince of Wales Charitable Foundation received a donation in 2013 from brothers Bakr and Shafiq bin Laden, half-brothers of Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda founder and architect of the Sept. 11 attacks.
News of the payout follows a series of recent royal scandals, including a June report that Prince Charles accepted $3.1 million in cash donations from a Qatari billionaire between 2011 and 2015.some of which were received personally in a suitcase and shopping bags.
The Bin Ladens are a powerful Saudi family whose multinational construction business and close ties to the Saudi royal family have made them extremely wealthy. However, there is no suggestion that Bakr or Shafiq bin Laden sponsored, supported or participated in any terrorist acts. The family disowned Osama bin Laden in 1994 when Saudi Arabia stripped him of his citizenship because of his extremist activities.
On Saturday, Clarence House, the prince’s official office and residence, confirmed that the bin Laden brothers had given the money to the royal charity, but disputed reports that Prince Charles brokered the deal or personally made the decision to accept it.
“The Prince of Wales Charitable Trust has assured us that a thorough review has been carried out in accepting this donation,” Clarence House said in a statement.
“The decision to accept was made only by the trustees of the charity and any attempt to characterize it otherwise is false,” the statement said.
But The Sunday Times reported that Prince Charles brokered the payment after a private meeting with Bakr bin Laden at Clarence House in London on October 30, 2013, two years after Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan.
The newspaper also reported that the heir to the throne agreed to accept the donation, despite the loud objections of his own advisers.
A royal official, who is not authorized to speak in public, denied that the prince accepted the donation, negotiated a deal or was advised to return the money.
The Sunday Times reported that some of the prince’s aides warned Charles of imminent retaliation if it became known that his charity had accepted money from the family of the man who orchestrated the attacks that killed some 3,000 people, including 67 Britons.
The Prince of Wales Charitable Trust, founded in 1979, states that its mission is to “transform lives and build sustainable communities by providing grants for a wide range of good causes through our core funding streams: heritage and conservation, education, health and well-being.” , social inclusion, environment and countryside”.