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Prince Charles Accepted $1.2 Million Charity Donation from Osama bin Laden's Family: Report

People logo People 8/1/2022 Simon Perry

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Prince Charles is facing criticism once again over donations to one of his charities.

According to the Sunday Times, Charles received a $1.2 million charity donation from Osama bin Laden's half-brothers in 2013.

The donation from Bakr bin Laden and Shafiq bin Laden (half-brothers of the former Al Qaeda leader, who was killed by U.S. special forces in Pakistan in 2011) reportedly came after a meeting between Charles and Bakr at Clarence House in October 2013.

According to the outlet, Prince Charles accepted the donation to The Prince of Wales' Charitable Fund (PWCF) despite objections from key advisers.

Charles' office at Clarence House disputed that claim, saying in a statement: "The Prince of Wales' Charitable Fund has assured us that thorough due diligence was undertaken in accepting this donation. The decision to accept was taken by the charity's Trustees alone and any attempt to characterise it otherwise is false."

A royal source counters the assertation that Charles brokered the deal and agreed to accept the donation against the objections of his advisers and that he refused recommendations from some staffers to return the money.

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In 1994, Osama bin Laden's family publicly disowned him and there is no suggestion that his half-brothers had links to his activities or have any known ties to terrorism.

Sir Ian Cheshire, chair of the Prince of Wales Charitable Foundation, tells PEOPLE in a statement: "The donation from Sheik Bakr Bin Laden in 2013 was carefully considered by PWCF Trustees at the time. 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."

A source at the charity adds that the decision was made at the time following a thorough examination of the issues and the conclusion that the actions of one member of the wider family should not discount other members of the family giving donations.

The news comes just one month after Charles reportedly accepted almost $3 million in cash, which was handed to him at his office in bags, from Sheikh Hamad bin Jasseim bin Jaber Al Thani, the former prime minister of Qatar.

Victoria Jones-WPA Pool/Getty Images Camilla and Prince Charles at the Commonwealth Games 2022 © Provided by People Victoria Jones-WPA Pool/Getty Images Camilla and Prince Charles at the Commonwealth Games 2022

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A senior source among Charles's staff later said that the royal would never again accept a large cash donation on behalf of his charities. The source at the palace said that donations had not been made like that in the last five years — and "wouldn't happen today" — and noted that Prince Charles passed the money onto his charities.

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"They followed the right processes and auditors looked at it," the source said. The Charity Commission, which regulates the non-profit sector in the U.K., has ruled that it will take no action over the donations.

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