UK Cops Rule Out Case Against Journalist Over 1995 Diana Interview

Diana’s brother had called for an independent inquiry alleging unethical methods were used to secure the interview.

Published
India
2 min read
Princess Diana in an evening reception given by West German President Richard Von Weizsacker, 1987. Image used for representation. 
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UK Police authorities have ruled out pursuing a criminal investigation against journalist Martin Bashir, over his explosive 1995 BBC interview with late Princess Diana, where she detailed her collapsing marriage with Prince Charles, among other issues.

Diana's brother, Earl Charles Spencer, had called for an independent inquiry earlier In November 2020, saying "sheer dishonesty" was used to secure the interview, including the use of forged documents and other unethical methods, to persuade Princess Diana to talk.

The UK Metropolitan police said that specialist detectives “obtained legal advice from Metropolitan police lawyers, independent counsel and from the Crown Prosecution Service. Following this detailed assessment and in view of the advice we received, we have determined that it is not appropriate to begin a criminal investigation into these allegations", quoted The Guardian.

The police authorities noted that no further action will be taken unless new significant evidence comes to light, added the report.

The BBC had announced on 18 November, that it will lead an independent investigation about the incident. Former Supreme Court Judge Lord John Dyson, who was the Master of the Rolls – the second most senior judge in England and Wales – was appointed to lead the probe.

Accusations Against Bashir

In a letter to Davie, Earl Spencer alleged that Bashir made defamatory statements about senior royals to gain his trust and access to his sister.

He also alleged that Bashir used forged bank statements to wrongly suggest that two senior courtiers were paid by security services to spy on the Princess. Earl Spencer wrote: "If it were not for me seeing these statements, I would not have introduced Bashir to my sister,” reported Daily Mail.

These claims included that Diana’s private correspondence was being opened, her car tracked, and phones tapped – described by the Mail as “preposterous lies”.

The Interview

In the November 1995 interview, which was watched by 22.8 million people around the globe, Princess Diana told Martin Bashir that “there were three people” in her marriage – her, Prince Charles, and his long-time lover Camilla Parker-Bowles – and also revealed she had been unfaithful.

Diana and Charles formally got divorced in 1996. The following year, on 31 August 1997, 36-year-old Princess Diana, also known as the ‘people’s Princess’, died in a car crash in Paris, along with her boyfriend Dodi Fayed, and the driver of the car, Henri Paul.

(With inputs from The Guardian and Daily Mail)

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