The Duke of York and his ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson, have been named in a ruling on a high court case featuring a dispute between a Turkish woman and businessman.
Nebahat Isbilen, 77, was allegedly tricked by Selman Turk into giving Prince Andrew £750,000 “by way of payment for assistance” with her passport, court documents reportedly show.
The documents reveal the prince has since repaid the cash after Isbilen alleged it was a scam. There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing by the prince or Ferguson.
A spokesperson for Andrew said: “We are unable to comment on ongoing legal proceedings.”
The revelations come after the prince settled a sexual assault case filed against him by Virginia Giuffre for an undisclosed sum, reported to be as much as £12m.
The out-of-court settlement in the US civil case means the prince makes no admission of guilt over claims by Giuffre that he sexually assaulted her on three occasions when she was 17, allegations he has repeatedly denied.
A court ruling available online details the case between Isbilen and the businessman Selman Turk but is not a final ruling in the case, which is ongoing. Turk disputes Isbilen’s allegations.
Isbilen had needed assistance moving her assets out of Turkey after her husband was imprisoned there owing to his “political affiliations”, the court had been told.
Turk, a former banker, had agreed to help Isbilen move her assets out of reach of the Turkish authorities.
Isbilen has alleged that Turk “breached fiduciary obligations he owed to her” and “advances claims in deceit”. Turk is fighting the case.
In the ruling, Judge Halpern QC said a lawyer representing Isbilen had told him, in an affidavit, that information had emerged to show evidence given by Turk was “misleading”.
He said the solicitor Jonathan Tickner had told him how evidence showed that “money was used for purposes unconnected with Mrs Isbilen, eg substantial sums were paid to Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and to Sarah, Duchess of York”.
A “particulars of claim” document seen by the Guardian and first reported in the Daily Mail states: “In or around November 2019, Mr Turk told Mrs Isbilen that she needed to make a purported ‘gift’ of £750,000 to HRH Duke of York by way of payment for assistance that he told her HRH Duke of York had provided in relation to Mrs Isbilen’s Turkish passport.”
The document states that the passport suggestion was a ruse.
The document continues: “The representation that Mrs Isbilen needed to make a gift to HRH Duke of York in connection with her passport (or for any other purpose) was false, and Mr Turk made it dishonestly, knowing it to be false and intending Mrs Isbilen to rely on it.’
Isbilen is said to have authorised the transfer of £750,000 on 15 November 2019.
The court document, dated in January this year, continues: “Mrs Isbilen has now received £750,000 from HRH Duke of York.”
Another court document, dated April 2021, states Turk disputes Isbilen’s allegations:
“He disagrees with her portrayal of the facts, including as to her understanding of the various dealings with her assets. He states that much of what has happened is the result of Mrs Isbilen’s status as a politically exposed person and the consequential difficulty in dealing with her assets.”