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Prince Charles 'Paradise Papers' Findings Raise Ethics Questions

Prince Charles 'Paradise Papers' Findings Raise Ethics Questions
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales during a visit to Semenggoh Wildlife Centre, a rehabilitation center for orangutans found injured in the wild or rescued from captivity on Nov. 6, 2017, in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. (Chris Jackson/Pool/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 08 November 2017 10:57 AM

Prince Charles' "Paradise Papers" revelations are leading to ethics accusations after the documents allegedly showed that the Duchy of Cornwall secretly bought shares worth $113,500 in a Bermuda company in 2007, the BBC News reported.

The network said Prince Charles then pushed to alter climate-change agreements without disclosing his offshore financial interest in what he was promoting. The BBC News said that the company, the Sustainable Forestry Management Ltd., would have benefited from the rules change.

Sir Alistair Graham, former chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, told the BBC News that the leaked documents, which were held by the law firm Appleby, suggested that Prince Charles' actions was a serious conflict of interest.

"There's a conflict of interest between his own investments of the Duchy of Cornwall and what he's trying to achieve publicly," Graham told the BBC News. "And I think it's unfortunate that somebody of his importance, of his influence, becomes involved in such a serious conflict."

The duchy said Prince Charles has a long track record on green issues, where he has written books on the environment since the 1980s, The Guardian reported. A representative said the prince has "never chosen to speak out on a topic simply because of a company that the duchy may have invested in," adding that he did not have any "direct involvement in investment decisions."

The Guardian wrote that the Duchy of Cornwall is a private estate established in 1337 by Edward III to provide independence to his son and heir, Prince Edward. The duchy's main purpose is funding the "public, charitable and private activities of the Prince of Wales and his family," the newspaper said.

The duchy owns 53,000 hectares of land in 23 counties, including Prince Charles's Gloucestershire home of Highgrove, The Guardian noted.

"What is clear is that there should be proper transparency of all investments made by the Duchy of Cornwall, that the Prince of Wales should not be involved in investment decisions and that the Treasury should monitor the investments to ensure that the reputation and integrity of our royal family is protected, Labour MP and tax campaigner Margaret Hodge told The Guardian.

The Paradise Papers are a huge batch of leaked documents mostly from offshore law firm Appleby, along with corporate registries in 19 tax jurisdictions, which reveal the financial dealings of politicians, celebrities, corporate giants, and business leaders, the BBC News noted. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, involving nearly 100 other media organizations, has led the research into the documents.

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Prince Charles' "Paradise Papers" revelations are leading to ethics accusations after the documents allegedly showed that the Duchy of Cornwall secretly bought shares worth $113,500 in a Bermuda company in 2007, the BBC News reported.
prince charles, paradise papers, ethics
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2017-57-08
Wednesday, 08 November 2017 10:57 AM
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