By producing fake bank statements, Bashir committed a “serious violation” of the BBC’s guidelines on direct transactions when he obtained the 1995 interview.
Bashir apologized in response to the report’s findings and said tampering with bank statements was a “stupid thing to do” and “an action I deeply regret.” However, he added that he felt it had “nothing to do with Princess Diana’s personal choice to participate in the interview”.
BBC Managing Director Tim Davie has issued a “full and unconditional” apology for the findings of Lord Dyson’s report released this afternoon.
Former chief executive Lord Tony Hall, who was the director of news and current affairs for the BBC when Diana’s interview was shown, has said he accepts the company’s 1996 investigation into how the session had been secured “was well below what was required”.
He added that he had “been wrong to give Martin Bashir the benefit of the doubt”.
Lord Dyson’s report was designed to explore how the BBC and journalist Bashir landed Panorama’s explosive interview with Princess Diana – in which she sensationalized there were “three of them us ”in her marriage to Prince Charles.
Bashir said in a statement after the report’s findings were released on Thursday: “This is the second time that I have voluntarily cooperated in an investigation into the events of more than 25 years ago. I then apologized, and I still do, for asking that bank statements be faked. It was a stupid thing to do and it was an action that I deeply regret. But I absolutely stand by the evidence I gave a quarter of a century ago, and even more recently.
“I also repeat that the bank statements had no bearing on Princess Diana’s personal choice to participate in the interview. “
Bashir’s statement comes days after he stepped down as the BBC’s editor-in-chief of religion due to lingering health concerns.
Lord Hall said in response to Lord Dyson’s report: ‘I accept that our investigation 25 years ago into how Panorama got the interview with Princess Diana did not live up to this. that was required. complaints about Martin Bashir’s conduct.
“I was wrong to give Martin Bashir the benefit of the doubt, basing this judgment as I did on what appeared to be deep remorse on his part. Throughout my 35 year career with the BBC, I have always acted in a way that I believe is fair, impartial and focused on the public interest.
“While Lord Dyson does not criticize my integrity, I am sorry our investigation fell short of the required standards. ”