BBC made a “full and unconditional apology” after a report found that journalist Martin Bashir used “deception” to secure the 1995 Princess Diana interview.
Following the six-month investigation, retired senior judge John Dyson said that the “indirect and real target” of Martin Bashir’s deception was Princess Diana. Dyson added that Bashir acted inappropriately and breached the BBC guidelines.
Dyson also spoke about the 1996 BBC investigation done by Tony Hall and Anne Sloman that cleared Bashir of any wrongdoing. He called the investigation “flawed and woefully ineffective”.
Tony Hall said that the investigation “fell well short” and added that he was wrong to give Bashir the benefit of the doubt.
BBC Director-General Tim Davie said that “the process of securing the interview fell far short”. Davie added that the channel “should have made greater effort to get to the bottom of what happened at the time and been more transparent about what it knew.”
Davie said that while “the BCC cannot turn back the clock”, the channel could make a “full and unconditional apology”.
The 1995 Princess Diana interview revealed her troubled relationship with Prince Charles. Princess Diana’s brother Charles Spencer claimed that she had been deceived and that Bashir forged documents to obtain the interview. He also added that the BBC did not apologise for the forged documents and the deceit that lead to the Princess Diana interview.
Dyson said that he was “satisfied” that Bashir used two forged bank statements to “deceive Earl Spencer [Charles Spencer] and induce him to arrange the meeting with Princess Diana”.
In March 2021, the London Metropolitan Police decided that it would not be conducting an investigation into the claims about the Princess Diana interview. Scotland Yard commander Alex Murray said that “we have determined that it is not appropriate to begin a criminal investigation into these allegations. No further action will be taken.”