Here’s the thing I don’t understand about Prince Charles and his endless financial shenanigans: all of the reporting indicates clear financial transactions, with witnesses, a digital trail and a paper trail, and these are all credible accusations of fraud, bribery and public corruption. So why are there not widespread cries for in-depth investigations at a criminal level? For example, the fact that Prince Charles accepted $1.23 million from Osama bin Laden’s half-brothers should have raised red flags with every intelligence agency, counterterrorism unit and police force. The fact that Charles wanders around, accepting suitcases full of cash, is not only a huge PR scandal but an actual criminal matter, especially given that Charles operates entirely through quid pro quo. So will it actually happen in the Bin Laden case? Probably not.
Prince Charles was accused of a ‘serious lack of judgment’ yesterday after it emerged his charity accepted £1million from the family of Osama bin Laden. It received the donation after Charles had a private meeting with the terrorist’s half-brother Bakr bin Laden in 2013 – two years after the Al Qaeda leader was killed by US special forces. The Charity Commission is likely to face calls to investigate in light of the revelation.
Royal sources denied reports that Charles, 73, had ‘brokered’ the donation, or that he agreed to it in the face of opposition from his advisers. Clarence House said the trustees of the Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund (PWCF) had agreed to accept the donation without the prince’s involvement, and that they carried out ‘thorough due diligence’. But the latest revelation comes only weeks after it emerged the PWCF accepted more than £2.5million in cash donations, said to be stuffed in bags and suitcases, from a former Qatari prime minister. And it raised further questions about the fundraising activities of the prince’s charity, and why it accepted money from the Bin Laden family.
Former Government minister Norman Baker said: ‘Prince Charles continues to show a serious lack of judgment about whom he will accept money from. Is there in fact anyone he would refuse money from? Is this really appropriate behaviour from the heir to the throne?’
Both the PWCF and Clarence House said the £1million donation was made and accepted, but said it was accepted by the charity’s trustees, and not by the prince. Sources denied reports that Charles had accepted the donation, and had done so despite objections by advisers – including at least one trustee – who pleaded with him to return the money.
[From The Daily Mail]
Charles’s argument in the Bin Laden situation is the same as his argument for most of these credible accusations of bribery: that it wasn’t him, it wasn’t his call, his advisors did it without his knowledge, he has no idea what was even in the suitcases full of cash he personally accepted, and he never questioned why he was prancing around, giving special honors to every despot, oligarch, dictator and terrorist relation he came across. That argument falls flat, obviously. Not only are there witnesses who got “shouted down” when they raised the alarm in real time, I’d be willing to bet there are extensive paper trails (with Charles’s spidery signature) of what was promised in exchange for “donations.” Anyway, my point remains: this is not just “bad PR” or a bad look or a matter for whatever toothless charity commission. This is a genuine criminal matter and it’s a giant diplomatic mess.
Photos courtesy of Instar and Avalon Red.
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