No criminal investigation into Martin Bashir Diana interview - Press Gazette

No criminal investigation to be held into Martin Bashir Princess Diana interview

Martin Bashir rehiring

No criminal investigation will be launched into BBC journalist Martin Bashir’s Panorama interview with Diana, Princess of Wales.

The Metropolitan Police made the announcement after looking at Lord Dyson’s report into Bashir’s 1995 sit-down with the royal.

The force said it had seen no evidence of criminal conduct. Lord Dyson found Bashir commissioned fake bank statements and used “deceitful behaviour” in a “serious breach” of the BBC’s guidelines

Scotland Yard had already said in March it would not launch a criminal investigation into the interview, but added that it had since assessed whether there was any noteworthy new information within the Dyson report.

In a statement on Wednesday, the force said: “In March 2021, the Metropolitan Police Service determined it was not appropriate to begin a criminal investigation into allegations of unlawful activity in connection with a documentary broadcast in 1995.

“Following the publication of Lord Dyson’s report in May, specialist detectives assessed its contents and looked carefully at the law, once again obtaining independent legal advice from Treasury Counsel as well as consulting the Crown Prosecution Service.

“As a result, the MPS has not identified evidence of activity that constituted a criminal offence and will therefore be taking no further action.”

After the publication of the Dyson report in May, Press Gazette editor-in-chief Dominic Ponsford set out eight unanswered questions. One was whether any criminal offence had been committed. Several others remain unresolved.

Bashir breached BBC rules by mocking up fake bank statements and showing them to Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, to gain access to the princess, the report said. This was a “serious breach” of producer guidelines on straight dealing.

Bashir said it was a “stupid thing to do and was an action I deeply regret” while the BBC issued a “full and unconditional apology”.

Picture: PA Wire/Ian West

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