Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, has accepted a donation to his foundation of £1 million (about C$1.56 million) from the bin Laden family, according to Sunday times.
Several of his advisers had asked the foundation not to accept this amount from the wealthy family of Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks, according to the sources cited in the British newspaper article.
Although members of the Saudi family who disowned Osama bin Laden are not suspected of a possible crime, this information increases interest surrounding the Prince Charles Foundation, which is under a police investigation launched in February.
This investigation aims to determine whether donations to the Prince Charles Foundation were awarded honorary titles and used to support a naturalization application by Saudi businessman Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz.
The agreement to donate one million pounds from the patriarch of the Saudi family, Bakr bin Laden (the half-brother of Osama) and his brother Shafiq dates back to 2013 during a meeting in London between Bakr bin Laden and Prince Charles, according to Sunday times.
Ian Cheshire, the foundation’s president, says the donation was accepted at the time by all five trustees.
The case, which Scotland Yard launched an investigation into, was revealed last year and led to the death of the heir to the British throne 73 years ago.
His former butler’s assistant Michael Fawcett, famous for being very close to Charles, is suspected of having used his influence to help Saudi businessman Bin Mahfouz, a generous benefactor to charities linked to the British monarchy, to obtain the Medal.
Mr. Mahfouz, who denies any wrongdoing, is said to have donated large sums to restoration projects. Michael Fawcett resigned in November 2021.
An investigation was also opened last November by the English regulator of charities to examine whether the Mahfouz Foundation, affiliated with the wealthy Saudi businessman, had received donations that were intended for Prince Charles.
The committee explained at the time that “the investigation will examine whether some of the donations received by the Mahfouz Foundation were intended for the organization, whether they were used according to the donors’ intent and whether they should be returned.”
The Prince Charles Foundation, created in 1986, is not regulated by this committee, but relies on the Scottish regulator of charities.
The latter also opened an investigation, but this time at hundreds of thousands of dollars from a Russian donor.
The Bin Laden Group, the largest building empire in Saudi Arabia founded by Osama Bin Laden’s father in 1931, has grown over decades thanks to its closeness to the royal family. But now he is mired in debt.