Prince Charles’ charity, The Prince of Wales’ Charitable Fund, accepted 1 million pounds in donation from the family of al Qaeda founder Osama Bin Laden, according to reports.
The Sunday Times reported that Princes Charles had met Osama’s half-brother Bakr bin Laden and his brother Shafiq in London in 2013, two years after Osama was shot dead by US special forces at a compound near Islamabad in Pakistan.
The newspaper further claims that the money was accepted despite opposition from the senior royal’s closest advisers.
Bakr and Shafiq are related to Osama through their father Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden, a Yemeni-born billionaire. There is no suggestion that the brothers have sponsored or involved in acts of terrorism.
Clarence House, however, strongly denied the claims of the newspaper report, saying that the decision to accept the donation was taken solely by the trustees of the foundation.
“The Prince of Wales’ Charitable Fund has assured us that thorough due diligence was undertaken in accepting this donation,” a spokesperson from Clarence House told Sky News.
“The decision to accept was taken by the charity’s trustees alone and any attempt to characterise it otherwise is false,” the spokesperson added.
The Prince of Wales’ Charitable Fund also came out with a strong statement and denied Charles of having been aware of the trustees accepting the money.
“The donation from Sheik Bakr bin Laden in 2013 was carefully considered by PWCF trustees at the time,” Sir Ian Cheshire, chairman of the Prince of Wales Charitable Foundation (PWCF), where the money was deposited, said in a statement:
“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.”
The Prince of Wales’ Charitable Fund was established in 1979. It awards grants to UK-registered non-profit organizations for projects in the UK, Commonwealth and other countries.