BBC Decides Who Will Lead Probe Into Diana Interview

A former Supreme Court judge will lead the investigation
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 18, 2020 1:51 PM CST
What the BBC Probe Into 1995 Diana Interview Will Look Like
In this file photo dated Nov. 7, 1985, Britain's Princess Diana wears the Spencer tiara as she and Prince Charles attend state dinner at Government House in Adelaide, Austraila.   (AP Photo/Jim Bourdier, FILE)

The BBC’s board of directors has approved the appointment of a retired senior judge to lead an independent investigation into the circumstances around a controversial 1995 TV interview with Princess Diana, the broadcaster said Wednesday. The announcement came after Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer, made renewed claims this month that BBC journalist Martin Bashir used forged statements and false claims to convince the late royal to agree to the interview. The investigation will consider if the steps taken by the BBC and Bashir were appropriate and to what extent those actions influenced Diana’s decision to give an interview, reports the AP. John Dyson, a former Supreme Court judge, is “an eminent and highly respected figure who will lead a thorough process,” the BBC said.

Charles Spencer alleged that in the weeks leading to the interview 25 years ago, Bashir made false and defamatory claims about senior royals in order to gain his trust and access to his sister. The claims included that Diana’s phone was bugged and that her bodyguard was plotting against her. He claimed that Bashir showed him “false bank statements” purporting to show that two senior royal aides were being paid to keep Diana under surveillance, and that he introduced Bashir to his sister as a result. Charles Spencer has demanded an inquiry and an apology. The BBC carried out an internal investigation when the complaints first surfaced and has said Bashir admitted commissioning mocked-up documents. But the corporation has said that the documents played no part in Diana's decision to take part in the interview.

(Read more Princess Diana stories.)

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