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Prince Charles accepted $1.2 million from Bin Laden family, reports

Despite the closeness to the family, the money could not be traced to the Islamic terrorist, according to the sources.

EFE - Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, accepted in 2013 a donation of one million pounds (1.2 million euros, at today’s exchange rate) for his charities from the family of Saudi terrorist Osama bin Laden, reported The Sunday Times.

According to the newspaper, the future king received the money from Bakr bin Laden, the current patriarch of the wealthy Saudi family, and his brother Shafiq, both half-brothers on Osama’s father’s side.

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The founder of Al Qaeda was executed in 2011 in Pakistan in a U.S. military operation, after being accused of the attacks of September 11, 2001 in that country, which caused 2,996 deaths and more than 25,000 wounded.

The newspaper specifies that there are no indications that the half-brothers were linked to the activities of the Islamist leader, whose father, the Yemeni-born millionaire Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden, died in a plane crash in 1967.

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According to “The Times,” Charles, 73, met with Bakr, 76, at his Clarence House palace in London on October 30, 2013, two years after Osama bin Laden’s death.

The heir accepted the donation despite the express advice of several advisers, who warned him that it “would not be good for anyone” and could damage his reputation. According to the newspaper, the prince thought that refusing would be embarrassing in the face of the Saudi businessman.

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The money was deposited, through the monarchy’s bank Coutts, in the account of the Prince of Wales Charitable Fund (PWCF), which distributes grants to British non-profit organizations, explains the newspaper, which notes that the board of this Fund formally accepted it after the fact.

In a statement, Ian Cheshire, chairman of the PWCF, has assured that “Bakr bin Laden’s donation in 2013 was carefully considered” and agreed by the five trustees at the time, although, according to the “Times”, at least one expressed doubts.

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“Due diligence was carried out, with information from a wide range of sources, including the government. The decision to accept the donation was the trustees’. Any attempt to suggest otherwise is misleading and inaccurate,” states Cheshire.

These trustees were Amelia Fawcett, a senior executive who now chairs London’s famous Kew Botanic Gardens; Michael Rake, former chairman of BT; John Varley, former chief executive of Barclays; academic Kenneth Wilson; and William Nye, then Charles’s principal private secretary.

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A spokesman for Clarence House has stressed that “the decision to accept (the gift) was made by the trustees alone and any attempt to characterize it otherwise is disingenuous.”

“The Prince of Wales’s Benevolent Fund has assured us that exhaustive due diligence was carried out before accepting the donation,” they add.

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These revelations come after the same newspaper reported in June that the prince received between 2011 and 2015 three batches of cash worth 3 million euros from the former prime minister and foreign minister of Qatar, Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani.

The British Charities Oversight Commission decided on the 20th not to investigate this donation.

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However, the police are investigating allegations that a former aide to Charles, Michael Fawcett, promised titles and citizenship to a Saudi tycoon in exchange for a financial contribution to another of the heir’s charities, the Prince’s Foundation.

Clarence House maintains that Charles, who is increasingly assuming the role of head of state in the face of Elizabeth II’s advanced age, “had no knowledge” of these exchanges.

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