Prince Charles will not face Charity Commission investigation over bin Laden charity donations

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Prince Charles  (AFP via Getty Images)
Prince Charles (AFP via Getty Images)

The Charity Commission will not investigate reports Prince Charles’ charity accepted £1 million in donations from relatives of Osama bin Laden.

The Prince of Wales was on Monday facing questions about the money donated by two of the ex-al-Qaeda leader’s half-brothers.

Donations from Bakr bin Laden, patriarch of the wealthy Saudi family, and his brother Shafiq were reportedly accepted in 2013, two years after bin Laden was killed by US special forces.

The Sunday Times claimed advisers had urged the heir to the throne to refuse the money.

A Charity Commission spokesman said: “Based on current information, this historic donation does not appear to be unlawful.

“There is therefore no role for the Commission.”

Sir Ian Cheshire, chairman of Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund (PWCF), told the newspaper that the donation was “carefully considered” by the five trustees and “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,” he added.

“Any attempt to suggest otherwise is misleading and inaccurate.”

Osama bin Laden is thought to have been the architect behind the September 11 terror attacks and was killed by US forces in 2011.

Former Liberal Democrat Cabinet minister Norman Baker said Charles has repeatedly shown a “serious lack of judgment about who he accepts money from”.

He told the Standard: “The Charity Commission should demonstrate its independence by holding a comprehensive investigation into the whole of Prince Charles’s charities.”

Clarence House disputed the claim and said it was not the Prince who accepted the donation, but the PWCF.

A spokesman added that the processes around donations to the charities have “evolved significantly” since 2013.

The Prince of Wales’ Charitable Fund has assured us that thorough due diligence was undertaken in accepting this donation,” Clarence House said in a statement.

“The decision to accept was taken by the charity’s Trustees alone and any attempt to characterise it otherwise is false.”

It follows reports last month that Prince Charles accepted a suitcase containing €1 million in cash from a former Qatari prime minister.

It was one of three cash donations totalling around £2.5 million that was said to have been received by the royal for his trust.

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