Scottish Daily Mail

Met gets f irst Bashir claims – now will it launch probe?

- By Sam Greenhill Chief Reporter

SCOTLAND Yard is examining claims of criminalit­y over the BBC’s Princess Diana interview on Panorama.

Earl Spencer’s former head of security has made an official complaint, raising the possibilit­y of a criminal investigat­ion.

Last night the Metropolit­an Police confirmed it had received allegation­s of unlawful activity and said they would be ‘assessed’.

If the force decides to launch a criminal probe, it could have implicatio­ns for the inquiry being undertaken by former Supreme Court judge Lord Dyson.

He was appointed to probe allegation­s that the BBC’s Martin Bashir used rogue tactics to trick Diana into doing her famous Panorama interview in 1995.

Her confession­s to Panorama sent shockwaves through the Royal Family and hastened her divorce f rom the heir to the throne, two years before she died in a car crash.

The i nterview broadcast in November that year, in which she notoriousl­y declared ‘there were three of us in this marriage’, remains one of the BBC’s most sensationa­l scoops.

The Met Police has been sent a complaint by a lawyer for Alan Waller, Earl Spencer’s former head of security.

Mr Waller’s bank statements were allegedly forged by Bashir, 57, who ordered a BBC graphics artist to mock them up.

The BBC journalist is accused of using the false statements – purportedl­y showing that Mr Waller was being paid to betray Earl

Spencer – to convince him to help clinch the interview with his sister Diana.

Lord Dyson has started taking evidence from witnesses, but former head of royal protection Dai Davies suggested he should ‘pause’ if the Met Police decides to launch an investigat­ion.

Mr Davies said: ‘There is clear and unequivoca­l evidence of an allegation of crime. There is nothing for the Met to “assess”.

‘A range of former senior police officers such as myself have said there is a prima facie case here of forgery being used to obtain an advantage – which doesn’t have to be a financial advantage.

‘Mr Bashir plainly benefited from his historic scoop, as did the BBC.

‘The police have now had a formal complaint and they should just get on and investigat­e it.

‘And Lord Dyson, eminent though he is, should pause his civil inquiry and stand aside.’

Mr Waller’s barrister Anton van Dellen has asked the Met Police to launch a criminal investigat­ion into ‘ very serious concerns’ of a conspiracy ‘ to create an instrument of fraud’.

Mr van Dellen told police: ‘In 1995, two BBC employees or agents engaged in a conspiracy t o create an i nstrument of fraud, namely a purported copy of Mr Alan Waller’ s bank statements.

‘Mr Martin Bashir agreed with a graphic artist, Matt Wiessler, to create a bank statement purporting to belong to Mr Alan Waller.

‘The fraudulent bank statement was then used to persuade Charles Spencer of Mr Bashir’s purported credential­s and Mr Bashir subsequent­ly gained an interview with the late Princess Diana.’

Mr van Dellen said the faked bank statements had caused ‘significan­t reputation­al and financial loss’.

The BBC would not be drawn on whether the police developmen­t would have any implicatio­ns for Lord Dyson, who is now almost a third of the way through the six months set aside for his inquiry.

A spokesman said: ‘The investigat­ion is ongoing.’

Mr Bashir, 57, ought to be the key witness at the inquiry, but there is no confirmati­on as to whether he has yet given a statement. Lord Dyson has no power to compel anyone to talk to him.

‘Police should get on and investigat­e’

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 ??  ?? Bombshell: Martin Bashir with Diana in 1995 and, above, in November last year
Bombshell: Martin Bashir with Diana in 1995 and, above, in November last year

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