Police have passed a file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) over an alleged cash-for-honours scandal involving one of King Charles III’s charities.
The Metropolitan Police confirmed that it passed the dossier to prosecutors at the end of October.
In February, the force launched an investigation after newspapers reported allegations that a Saudi billionaire donor to The Prince’s Foundation was offered help securing a knighthood.
It came months after detectives received a formal complaint in September 2021, after the stories were published, from the anti-monarchy group Republic about Charles, then the Prince of Wales, and his former close confidant Michael Fawcett.
Mr Fawcett had been accused of promising to help Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz obtain British citizenship and a knighthood. After the claims were made, he resigned as chief executive of The Prince’s Foundation.
In a statement, the Met Police said: “A file was passed to the CPS on October 31. The investigation remains ongoing and we will not be providing a running commentary on its progress.”
A man in his 50s and another man in his 40s were spoken to under caution, the force said, on 6 September this year – two days before Queen Elizabeth II died and Prince Charles became King Charles III.
It is understood that the King has not been spoken to by police, nor has he been requested to do so, but it was reported that he was “happy” to help officers in their investigation.
Prosecutors are expected to decide before Christmas if charges will be brought, with the King’s alleged involvement possibly heard in court, The Sunday Times has reported.
Buckingham Palace said it would not comment on an ongoing police inquiry.
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 Mr Mahfouz’s honorary CBE to a knighthood, and support his application for British 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.
The reports led to the Charity Commission launching a formal inquiry into the claims in November 2021.
Mr Mahfouz, who is the holder of the Lordship and Barony of Abernethy in Scotland, is reported to have donated large sums to restoration projects of particular interest to Charles.
When the investigation was launched, a spokesperson for Charles at Clarence House said 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”.
Mr Mahfouz is said to deny any wrongdoing. He is the executive officer of the Saudi-based Marei bin Mahfouz Group, founded by his father who is one of the richest men in Saudi Arabia.