Friday, August 19

Former Minister Urges Police to Investigate “Honorary” CBE for Saudi Businessman | Prince carlos

Allegations that a wealthy Saudi businessman was offered help obtaining an honor and British citizenship after making a donation to Prince Charles’s charities have been reported to police and should be the subject of an investigation, a former minister said. of the government.

Michael Fawcett, Charles’s former aid assistant, has temporarily resigned as executive director of the Prince Foundation after Sunday papers claim he helped coordinate an honor related to Dr. Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz.

Mahfouz, who received a CBE in 2016, donated £ 1.5 million to restoration projects near Charles, including Dumfries House, where a garden and fountain are named after the prince, and Mey Castle in Scotland, where a forest bears his name. the Sunday Times reported, adding that Mahfouz had denied any wrongdoing.

Norman Baker, a former Liberal Democrat minister, author and critic of the royal family, has written to Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, urging that a police investigation be conducted into the matter.

Baker said a letter, published by the Mail on Sunday, allegedly from Fawcett to an aide at the Mahfouz Foundation, appeared to be “prima facie” evidence of a crime.

In the 2017 letter, Fawcett allegedly wrote that, in light of Mahfouz’s continued generosity, “we are willing and happy to support and contribute to the citizenship application.” the Mail on Sunday reported.

He continued that they were also willing to seek to upgrade the CBE to KBE.

Baker said he had written to Dick “to tell him that in light of the full transcript of the letter, it appears to me that there is prima facie evidence that a crime has been committed by virtue of honors [prevention of abuses] Law of 1925 “.

“If politicians had promised to sell honors or offer support to the citizenry, they would be in big trouble. And the same should apply to Prince Charles, ”he said.

Baker believes that any investigation should examine what Prince Charles knew at the time.

The Times reported that Charles was “100%” behind the offer to help the Saudi billionaire, according to a repairman, described by the newspaper as a paid adviser to Mahfouz, and royalty had met Mahfouz at Riyadh, Clarence House and Dumfries House, in 2014 and 2015.

Baker said he believed the questions led directly to Charles. “Of course,” he said, describing Charles and Fawcett as “Tweedledum and Tweedledee.”

“[Charles] I can’t do without it. {Fawcett’s]has already had to resign twice, and Charles has brought him back under the cover of darkness. That’s what it will do, ”he said.

“I have suggested to Dame Cressida Dick that there is good evidence and that there should be an investigation based on what is in that letter. At first glance, there is evidence of corruption. I believe in decorum in public life. And Charles is in public office. “

The prince gave Mahfouz, 51, his “honorary” CBE, for those who are not British or Commonwealth citizens, in a private ceremony at Buckingham Palace in November 2016.

Fawcett, who in 2003 was acquitted of financial misconduct allegations for the sale of royal gifts, was appointed executive director of the Prince Foundation in 2018 after a reorganization of Charles’s charities.

Fawcett has offered to step down temporarily as chief executive of the Prince Foundation while the trustees conduct an investigation.

A Clarence House spokesperson said: “It is correct that the Prince Foundation is taking the investigation so seriously and we will not comment further while it is ongoing.”

Fawcett began his royal service in 1981 as the Queen’s lackey, before rising through the ranks.

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