An investigation concluded that British journalist Martin Bashir, 58, of the BBC, had used “fraudulent behavior” to obtain the exclusive and explosive interview with Princess Diana in 1995. The investigation revealed that Bashir had committed a crime. “serious violation” of the broadcaster.
The BBC appointed former Supreme Court Justice John Dyson in November 2020 to lead the investigation which led to the results on Thursday (20). It all happened after Diana’s brother Charles Spencer filed complaints alleging Bashir used false documents and other tactics to trick the princess into doing the interview.
The decision was taken by Prince William, and said at the time that the independent investigation “is a step in the right direction”. In the interview, which aired on Panorama, Diana said there were three people at her wedding, alluding to Charles’ extramarital affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles.
Today Charles and Camilla are married. In addition, the princess also admitted to having an affair. In early 1996, another investigation was opened, but the BBC canceled Bashir, the program and BBC News for any wrongdoing.
According to the USA Today website, the new investigation concluded that the previous investigation was “slightly ineffective.” BBC Chairman Richard Sharp said the company had accepted the investigation’s findings, adding that “there had been unacceptable failures”.
John Birt, managing director of the BBC at the time of the interview, has made an apology statement to Charles Spencer. “We now know that the BBC harbored a dishonest reporter at Panorama who fabricated an elaborate and detailed, but totally bogus, account of his dealings with Count Spencer and Princess Diana.”
“This is a shocking stain on the BBC’s enduring commitment to honest journalism; and it is very unfortunate that it has taken 25 years for the whole truth to emerge,” Birt concluded. The investigation looked at Bashir’s actions and the mock bank statements that Spencer denounced.
According to Lady Di’s brother, the reporter had shown bank statements, which they later found to be false, proving that there were people paid to spy on the princess. Charles Spencer filed the complaint 25 years after the incident.
“Bank statements had no influence on Princess Diana’s personal choice to participate in the interview,” Bashir said in a statement. “The evidence provided to the investigation in his own handwriting unequivocally confirms this, and other compelling evidence presented supports it.”
The investigation released a handwritten letter from Diana from December 1995. The journalist told investigators he found the note at his home in November 2020 and turned the file over to BBC officials.
The letter says: “Martin Bashir did not show me any documents, nor did he give me any information that I had not known before.” The interview at the time brought together 22.8 million Britons. Diana and Prince Charles divorced in 1996, and the princess died in 1997 in a car accident.
Bashir was fired from the BBC in mid-May for health reasons. Since 2016, the journalist has been responsible for the religious coverage of the public. After the interview with Diana, he continued to work as a journalist in the United States, then returned to the United Kingdom, to the BBC.
In March this year, the London Metropolitan Police announced that they would not investigate allegations of fraud linked to the hard-hitting BBC interview the journalist conducted with Princess Diana.
“After careful consideration and in light of the advice we have received, we have decided that it is not appropriate to initiate a criminal investigation into these charges. In this case, as in all others, we reserve the right to reassess our decision if new evidence comes to light, ”London Police Service Commander Alex Murray said in a statement.