The Sunday Times, citing unnamed sources, reported that Prince Charles accepted Bakr bin Laden and Shafiq bin Laden’s donation to the Prince of Wales Charity Fund (PWCF), despite objections from key advisers at the time.
Clarence House denied that claim on Saturday, saying the decision to accept the money was made by the charity’s trustees and not Prince Charles.
“The Prince of Wales Charity Fund has assured us that all due care has been taken in accepting this donation,” the Clarence House statement said. “The decision to adopt was made solely by the trustees of the charity and any attempt to characterize them otherwise is wrong.”
Bakr bin Laden is the former chairman of the Jeddah-based construction company Saudi Binladin Group. Osama bin Laden was removed as a shareholder from the family company in 1993 when Bakr bin Laden was chairman, US court documents show.
Osama bin Laden was the leader of Al Qaeda when the network carried out the 9/11 attacks in New York in 2001. Ten years later, he was killed in an operation by US special forces.
Neither Bakr nor Shafiq bin Laden have known links to terrorist activities or appear on United Nations or US, EU and UK government counter-terrorism sanctions lists.
According to the Sunday Times report, Prince Charles secured the funds after meeting Bakr bin Laden and accepted the donation despite “initial objections from advisers at Clarence House” and the PWCF.
PWCF also responded to the Sunday Times report, saying that “Sheik Bakr Bin Laden’s donation has been carefully considered by the PWCF trustees.
A royal source told CNN they disputed the Sunday Times’ claims that Prince Charles personally accepted the donation, that he brokered the deal and that advisers to Prince Charles at the time asked him to return the money.
A source close to PWCF said that “after a thorough review of the matter, the trustees have concluded that the actions of one Bin Laden family member should not taint the entire family.”
The Sunday Times reported in June that Prince Charles accepted charitable donations in cash from Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, former Prime Minister of Qatar, between 2011 and 2015. Clarence House also disputed the details of the June report, saying “proper processes” were followed in relation to accepting the donation.