The Charity Commission has announced that it opened a statutory inquiry into a charity where a trustee was being investigated by police over links to terrorism.
The investigation into Anatolia People’s Cultural Centre was opened in April 2016 but the Commission delayed announcing it to avoid prejudicing the criminal investigation and trial of the trustee for terrorism offences.
Ayfer Yildiz was tried for two counts of disseminating of terrorist publications contrary to section 2 of the Terrorism Act 2006 and found not guilty on both counts on 18 May 2017.
In April 2016 Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command told the Commission that the charity’s premises were searched as part of an ongoing counter terrorism investigation. The charity’s premises have also been closed by court order.
The regulator is also concerned about the trustees’ management of the charity and whether its property, including its premises, were used solely to further the charity’s stated purposes and will consider whether the charity has complied with charity law.
It has used its powers to protect property held by the charity, restrict its fundraising activity and suspend the trustee who was the subject of the police investigation and trial.
The five other trustees have been disqualified for ten years. Further details will be made available when the Commission publishes the inquiry report.
Anatolia People’s Cultural Centre was registered in 2005 as a poverty and education charity. It has not filed its annual accounts for the past five years.