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24 Sept 2022

Police interview two men in Prince’s Foundation ‘cash-for-honours’ probe

Police interview two men in Prince’s Foundation ‘cash-for-honours’ probe

Two men have been interviewed by police as part of an investigation into an alleged cash-for-honours scandal involving one of the King’s charities.

The Metropolitan Police said a man aged in his 50s and a man in his 40s were spoken to under caution earlier this month.

The force launched an investigation in February following a series of newspaper articles alleging a donor to The Prince’s Foundation was offered help securing a knighthood.

Anti-monarchy group Republic made a formal complaint to Met detectives about Charles and former close confidant Michael Fawcett in September 2021, following the stories.

Mr Fawcett, who has since resigned as chief executive of The Prince’s Foundation in the wake of the alleged scandal, had been accused of promising to help a Saudi billionaire donor achieve British citizenship and the honour.

Two men were interviewed on September 6, two days before the Queen died and Charles became King.

It is understood the King has not been spoken to by police, nor has he been requested to do so.

Buckingham Palace declined to comment on the latest development.

When the investigation was launched, a spokesperson for Charles at Clarence House reiterated a previous statement, saying the then Prince of Wales had “no knowledge of the alleged offer of honours or British citizenship on the basis of donation to his charities”.

On Friday, the Met confirmed two men had been interviewed in relation to offences under the Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925.

No arrests were made and the force said it would not be providing a running commentary on the progress of its investigation.

A spokesman for the foundation said: “While it would be inappropriate to comment on an ongoing investigation, it should be noted that The Prince’s Foundation continues to offer its full co-operation.”

Last autumn, the Mail on Sunday published a letter from 2017 in which Mr Fawcett reportedly wrote that he was willing to make an application to change businessman Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz’s honorary CBE to a knighthood, and support his application for citizenship.

The letter, written on headed notepaper in Mr Fawcett’s then capacity as chief executive of the Dumfries House Trust, said the applications would be made in response to “the most recent and anticipated support” of the trust.

Mr Mahfouz is reported to have donated large sums to restoration projects of particular interest to Charles.

Mr Mahfouz is said to deny any wrongdoing himself.

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