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Royal charity under cloud

London, March 2 (AP): Royal officials today said they would investigate reports that Prince Charles met with and accepted money from a Turkish media mogul who is facing serious fraud charges in the US.

The Sunday Times and The Mail reported that Cem Uzan, who is accused of swindling mobile phone giants Motorola and Nokia out of $2.8 billion, met Charles on three occasions — including a June 2000 dinner hosted by Charles and his companion, Camilla Parker Bowles — after pledging gifts to the Prince’s foundation.

Uzan made donations of £400,000 to the charity from October 2000 in the hope of meeting members of Britain’s business and social elite, the paper said, describing the affair as a “cash-for-access” row.

A spokeswoman for Charles’ office at St. James’ Palace said the Prince’s private secretary, Sir Michael Peat, would look into “evidence of wrongdoing.

Uzan, 42, is one of Turkey’s most controversial businessmen. The Uzan family holds a controlling stake in the Istanbul-based Telekomunikasyon Hizmetlei, or Telsim Mobil, one of Turkey’s largest telecom companies, and owns newspapers, television and radio stations. Uzan also heads a political party, the Youth Party.

Peat is currently investigating reports of palace wrongdoing, including claims the royals passed expensive but unwanted presents to their servants or tried to sell them for cash.

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