Bin Laden family donates £1 million to Prince Charles Foundation

Bin Laden family donates £1 million to Prince Charles Foundation

Prince Charles, heir to the British crown, has accepted a donation to his foundation of one million pounds (1.21 million euros) from the bin Laden family, according to the Sunday Times. Several of his advisers would have pleaded for the foundation not to accept this payment from the wealthy family of the mastermind of the attacks of September 11, 2001, Osama bin Laden.

Although the Saudi family members, who disowned Osama bin Laden, are not suspected of a potential offence, this information heightens the attention around the Prince Charles foundation which is the subject of a police investigation launched in February.

suspicion of favoritism

This investigation aims to establish whether these donations were rewarded with honorary titles and whether they were used to support a request for naturalization by a Saudi businessman, Mahfouz Marei Mubarak ben Mahfouz. The agreement on the donation of a million pounds from the patriarch of the Saudi family, Bakr bin Laden (half-brother of Osama) and his brother Shafik, dates back to 2013 during a meeting in London between Bakr bin Laden and Prince Charles, according to the Sunday Times.

Ian Cheshire, the foundation’s chairman, says the donation was accepted at the time by all five trustees. The case into which Scotland Yard launched an investigation had been revealed last year and had splashed the heir to the British throne of 73 years.

His former assistant valet Michael Fawcett, reputed to be very close to Charles, is suspected of having used his influence to help the Saudi businessman ben Mahfouz, a generous donor to charities linked to the British monarchy, to obtain a decoration .

An investigation to shed light on the use of these donations

The latter, who denies any fault, would have given large sums of money to restoration projects. Michael Fawcett resigned in November 2021. “The investigation will examine whether certain donations received by the Mahfouz Foundation were intended for the organization, whether they were used in accordance with the donors’ intention and whether they should be returned”, the commission explained at the time.

The Prince Charles Foundation, created in 1986, is however not regulated by this commission but depends on the Scottish regulator of charities. The Bin Laden Group, Saudi Arabia’s largest construction empire founded by Osama bin Laden’s father in 1931, has grown rich for decades thanks to its closeness to the royal family but is now awash in debt.

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