Martin Bashir DID fake bank statements to 'deceive' Princess Diana into giving BBC Panorama interview

SHAMED Martin Bashir DID fake bank statements to "deceive" Princess Diana into giving her bombshell Panorama interview, a damning report found today.

A probe was launched into Bashir and BBC bosses over how the then-unknown journalist managed to bag the 1995 royal scoop.

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The six-month inquiry conducted by Lord Dyson today found the BBC "did not scrutinise" Bashir despite knowing he lied three times.

And it also confirmed the journalist commissioned fake bank statements and used ‚Äúdeceitful behaviour‚ÄĚ to get interview.

What the report found:

  • ¬†Bashir fabricated information to 'deceive' Princess Diana into giving 1995 interview
  • He commissioned fake bank statements and showed them to Earl Spencer
  • Lord Dyson rules Bashir 'acted inappropriately' in serious breach of code
  • BBC admits 'unacceptable failures' and apologises for 'clear failings'
  • The broadcaster 'fell short of what audiences expect' and failed with 1996 inquiry
  • Bashir has apologised saying the faking of bank statements was a ‚Äúan action I deeply regret‚ÄĚ but said it had "no bearing" on Diana's decision to do the interview
  • Lord Birt, director-general of the BBC at the time, says the BBC "harboured a rogue report" who "fabricated an elaborate, detailed but wholly false account"
  • Corporation will be stripped of awards for 1995 Panorama interview

Earl Spencer told previously how Bashir used forged bank statements to convince her to do the interview.

He said the papers wrongly showed two senior courtiers were being paid by the security services for information on his sister.

The false documents were also said to give the impression associates of the royal family were selling stories to newspapers.

Diana's brother said if he hadn't seen the bank statements he would not have made the introduction and the scoop wouldn't have happened.

He also claimed he was – falsely – told Diana was under surveillance and those close to her were plotting against her, all to make her feel increasingly paranoid.

The report found Bashir "deceived and induced" Earl Spencer – with former director-general of the BBC Lord Birt branding him a "rogue reporter".

It also said Diana's brother was "not approached" by the BBC over the bank statements and accepted the account Bashir gave as "truthful".

Lord Dyson said the failure to interview Earl Spencer was a "big mistake" and meant he could not have concluded "as he did, that Bashir was an honest and honourable man".

The journalist was accused of ordering a graphic artist to fake two bank statements to obtain the royal scoop after Diana and Prince Charles' divorce.

An ex-employee of Princess Diana’s brother complained to police he was named in fake documents allegedly used to gain access to her.

Alan Waller, who worked for Earl Spencer in security, wrote to the Met alleging unlawful activity last year.

The papers allegedly falsely suggested Mr Waller got money from newspapers and the security forces for snooping on Diana.

Scotland Yard confirmed in March Bashir won't face a police probe over claims he faked documents to secure the interview.

Former BBC director-general Lord Hall investigated Mr Bashir in 1996 after questions were first raised over how he secured the bombshell interview with Diana.

He said today he accepts the original inquiry into the interview "fell well short of what was required" and he was "wrong to give Martin Bashir the benefit of the doubt".

Lord Hall added: "I have read Lord Dyson's report, and I accept that our investigation 25 years ago into how Panorama secured the interview with Princess Diana fell well short of what was required. In hindsight, there were further steps we could and should have taken following complaints about Martin Bashir's conduct.

"I was wrong to give Martin Bashir the benefit of the doubt, basing that judgement as I did on what appeared to be deep remorse on his part. Throughout my 35-year career at the BBC, I have always acted in ways I believe were fair, impartial and with the public interest front and centre.

"While Lord Dyson does not criticise my integrity, I am sorry that our investigation failed to meet the standards that were required."

Bashir allegedly peddled 32 lies and smears to the princess to clinch his Panorama chat in 1995, in which Diana famously said: "There were three of us in this marriage".

She also admitted to her infidelity with Army captain James Hewitt, and questioned Charles’s suitability as king.

Bashir is also alleged to have told Diana she was being followed and that Prince Charles had been having an affair with Harry and Williams' nanny.

The lies are blamed for fuelling Diana’s fears about her safety and privacy.

Bashir quit the BBC on health grounds earlier this month, where he held the position of the broadcaster's religion editor.

The BBC has said he is too ill to be interviewed.

Prince Harry, 36, and Prince William have both welcomed the inquiry.

In a break with precedent, William previously said in a statement: “The independent investigation is a step in the right direction.

"It should help establish the truth behind the actions that led to the Panorama interview and subsequent decisions taken by those in the BBC at the time.‚ÄĚ

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