New York: The family of 9/11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden donated £1 million ($1.19 million, 1.21 million euro) to a charitable trust of Prince Charles, a report by The Sunday Times said.
The report said that Prince Charles accepted the donation from Bakr bin Laden and Shafiq – half brothers of Osama Bin Laden. Even though there is no suggestion that Bakr or Shafiq have sponsored or have been involved in acts of terrorism, the news of the donation increased scrutiny on Prince Charles’ charity organizations, which have been rocked by allegations of criminal wrongdoing.
The report said Prince Charles agreed to the donation to the Prince of Wales Charitable Fund (PWCF) when he met Bakr at Clarence House in London in 2013, two years after Osama Bin Laden was killed in Pakistan’s Abbottabad by a special operations unit of the United States military.
Several advisers of Prince Charles had urged him to not take the donation. PWCF chairman Sir Ian Cheshire said in a statement that the donation from Bakr Bin Laden was carefully considered by the charitable fund’s trustees at the time.
Cheshire said that due diligence was conducted, with information sought from a wide range of sources, including the government. He added that the decision to accept the donation was taken wholly by the trustees, and any attempt to suggest otherwise was misleading and inaccurate.
Previously, police had launched a probe in February into another of Prince Charles’ charitable foundations over claims of a cash-for-honors scandal involving a Saudi businessman Mahfouz Marei Mubarak.
Mubarak had donated large sums to restoration projects of particular interest to Prince Charles. The Saudi businessman has denied any wrongdoing.