Tuesday 12 December 2017

Judge tells Prince Charles to keep his nose out

Cahal Milmo

PRINCE Charles was accused of grossly exceeding his constitutional powers after a High Court judge criticised him yesterday for an "unexpected and unwelcome" intervention in a high-profile £3bn (€3.6bn) property development which was then withdrawn by its billionaire Qatari backers.

Prince Charles waged a two-month campaign to persuade Qatari Diar, a property investment company owned by the Qatari royal family, to scrap the plan to redevelop Chelsea Barracks in central London.

Mr Justice Vos, in the Royal Courts of Justice, ruled that Qatari Diar breached its contract with the developer Christian Candy when it withdrew its planning application last June. This followed a face-to-face meeting between Qatar's ruler, Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani, and Prince Charles.

The judge ruled that CPC Group, owned by Mr Candy, which was Qatari Diar's partner in the scheme, was not entitled to a £81m (€98m) payment set out in the contract, finding that the Middle Eastern company had been left "between a rock and a hard place" following the prince's complaints.

"Prince Charles must be made accountable for what he is doing," he said. "Qatari Diar and CPC were faced with a very difficult position once the Prince of Wales intervened in the planning process.

His intervention was, no doubt, unexpected and unwelcome."(© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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