Friday, 13 July 2012

Hans and Eva Rausing. FROM THE ARCHIVE

Prince Charles backs Tetra Pak couple Rausings and declares 'they deserve a second chance'


UPDATED: 23:39, 9 August 2008

Prince Charles has controversially backed a multi-millionaire heiress caught with large amounts of crack and heroin, insisting she deserves a ‘second chance’.

Prosecutors dropped drug charges against Eva Rausing last month after she admitted possession of crack, heroin and cocaine.

Now Prince Charles is insisting Mrs Rausing should not be sacked from the board of one of his charities despite legal rules requiring trustees to be of good character.

Tetra Pak
Tetra Pak heir Hans Kristian Rausing and his American-born wife Eva, who was caught trying to smuggle crack and heroin into the American embassy

Mrs Rausing was caught trying to smuggle drugs into a function at the American Embassy in London.

She and her husband Hans, heir to the multi-billion-pound Tetra Pak drinks carton empire, were given a conditional caution after more drugs were found at their £10million mansion in exclusive Cadogan Place, Central London.

The decision not to prosecute them has been widely criticised and now Prince Charles, who in 2004 personally appointed Mrs Rausing as a trustee of his charity, the Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment, insists he wants her to continue.

Yesterday an aide to the Prince said: ‘The Prince’s charities work with young people, many of whom have had problems with drugs.

Tetra Pak heir Hans Kristian Rausing and his American-born wife Eva, who was caught trying to smuggle crack and heroin into the American embassy


‘They aim to give these people a second chance to help them rebuild their lives. It would therefore be hypocritical for the Prince not to give Eva Rausing a second chance.’

Last night the Prince’s Foundation confirmed it was backing the disgraced multi-millionairess.

Chief executive Hank Dittmar, a former adviser to President Clinton, said: ‘We support Eva Rausing in her efforts to overcome her problems and look forward to her completion of her treatment programme.

'She remains a dedicated member of the Foundation board of trustees contributing to the charity’s education work.’

A spokeswoman for the Prince at Clarence House confirmed that he was ‘backing the

charity’s decision’.

But last night Labour MP Ian Davidson attacked Prince Charles’s support for the Rausings.

He said: ‘There is every difference between a mature adult being involved in cocaine abuse and impoverished youngsters getting involved with drugs.

‘Prince Charles’s stance strengthens the view that the casual use of drugs by members of society and the Establishment is acceptable and that when they are caught they face no consequences.’

The Foundation is particularly close to Prince Charles’s heart. It promotes environmentally friendly architecture and design, and is the force behind Poundbury, his model town in Dorset.

Other objectives include improvements in public health and ‘safer streets’.

But the decision to allow Eva Rausing to stay on its board of trustees is a controversial one.

According to the Charity Commission, ‘trustees of charities working with children or vulnerable adults should also make additional, more detailed checks . . . to ensure both that the person they wish to appoint as a trustee is eligible and to ensure the safety of the charity’s beneficiaries’.

The controversy comes after the Crown Prosecution Service agreed to drop the prosecution of the Rausings in return for the couple admitting their guilt and agreeing to a strict treatment regime and regular drugs tests.

Conditional cautions were issued to the couple last week after correspondence between the CPS and the Rausings’ lawyers.

Typically, addicts caught with similar quantities of drugs face a prison sentence.

A ‘conditional caution’ differs from a simple caution in that the offender must comply with certain conditions to receive the caution and to avoid prosecution for the offence they have committed.

Mr Rausing stands to inherit the £5.4billion Tetra Pak empire built up by his Swedish father, also named Hans, who also lives in Britain.

The family are said to have the seventh-largest fortune in Britain.

The Rausings’ properties include a £50million estate in Barbados and a 3,000-acre retreat in East Sussex.

Mr and Mrs Rausing have contributed huge sums to addiction charities, and Mr Rausing was long believed to have dabbled in drugs.

But only after Mrs Rausing’s arrest did it become public that both were addicted to crack and heroin.