Ex-Met Police chief says Martin Bashir would have been questioned over Diana interview if they had all the evidence
Princess Diana was 36 when she was killed in a car crash in Paris on August 31, 1997
A former Metropolitan Police commissioner has said Martin Bashir would have “definitely” been interviewed, probably under caution, over his controversial interview with Princess Diana.
Diana was 36 when she was killed in a car crash in Paris on August 31, 1997 and her death has continued to attract conspiracy theories over the decades.
And the leader of the Met Police's inquiry into Diana's death, Lord John Stevens, said journalist Mr Bashir would have been questioned under caution over his interview with the Princess if they had all the information that is available now.
An inquiry led by Lord Dyson found the BBC had covered up Mr Bashir’s “deceitful behaviour” and “fell short of high standards of integrity and transparency.”
The journalist was found to be in “serious breach” of the BBC’s producer guidelines when he faked bank statements and showed them to Earl Spencer, Diana’s brother, to gain access to her for a panorama interview in 1995, the report said.
Speaking on GB News’ Dan Wootton Tonight, Lord Stevens said: “If we'd known what we know now, we would have definitely interviewed Martin Bashir, probably under caution as it happened.
“But at that stage we didn’t know what he’d been involved in, it only came from Earl Spencer that he had tricked her into saying things, he had produced documents which were forgeries which had obviously had an effect on her state of mind.
“And that state of mind was made more vulnerable, more paranoic by his actions.”
BBC director-general Tim Davie said earlier this year: “Now we know about the shocking way that the interview was obtained, I have decided that the BBC will never show the programme again; nor will we license it in whole or part to other broadcasters.
“It does of course remain part of the historical record and there may be occasions in the future when it will be justified for the BBC to use short extracts for journalistic purposes, but these will be few and far between and will need to be agreed at executive committee level and set in the full context of what we now know about the way the interview was obtained.
“I would urge others to exercise similar restraint.”
Responding to Lord Dyson's inquiry, Mr Bashir said: “This is the second time that I have willingly fully co-operated with an investigation into events more than 25 years ago.
“I apologised then, and I do so again now, over the fact that I asked for bank statements to be mocked up.
“It was a stupid thing to do and was an action I deeply regret. But I absolutely stand by the evidence I gave a quarter of a century ago and again more recently.”
Scotland Yard said last year that it would not launch a criminal investigation into Mr Bashir's interview with Diana.