Met Police to look into Martin Bashir probe again to check for 'significant new evidence' after damning report
THE Metropolitan Police will "assess the contents" of the damning report into Martin Bashir's BBC interview with Princess Diana to check for "significant new evidence".
Scotland Yard previously decided not to begin a criminal investigation into alleged unlawful activity in connection with the 1995 broadcast.
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Cops said in a statement that they had determined in March that it was "not appropriate" to launch a full criminal probe, but should any new evidence emerge "it would be assessed".
They added: "Following the publication of Lord Dyson's report we will assess its contents to ensure there is no significant new evidence."
The report, published yesterday, found shamed Martin Bashir DID fake bank statements to "deceive" Princess Diana into giving her bombshell Panorama interview.
A six-month independent inquiry conducted by Lord Dyson revealed the BBC "did not scrutinise" Bashir despite knowing he lied three times.
And it also confirmed the journalist commissioned false documents and used "deceitful behaviour" to get the interview.
The scathing report said the BBC "fell short of the high standards of integrity and transparency which are its hallmark".
And it revealed the corporation had "covered up" Bashir's sensational lies "without justification".
The BBC has now written to the royal family to apologise.
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 has admitted 'unacceptable failures' and apologised for 'clear failings'
- The broadcaster 'fell short of what audiences expect' and failed with its 1996 inquiry
- Bashir apologised saying the faking of bank statements was a “an action I deeply regret” 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"
- The corporation will be stripped of awards for 1995 Panorama interview
During an appearance on BBC Radio 4's Today programme this morning, it was put to the Justice Secretary that some people say the police should be involved following Lord Dyson's inquiry.
Robert Buckland replied: "That, of course, is a matter for the police and the independent prosecutorial authorities, and I'm not going to say anything to prejudge or to influence any such line of inquiry.
"But I think anybody reading the headlines and the summary of Lord Dyson's findings will be struck by his use of those words, fraud and deception and the like, and clearly those sort of issues, I'm afraid, could and do arise."
Asked if a second inquiry was needed to look at wider questions not in the remit of Lord Dyson's work, such as the handling of whistle blowers, Mr Buckland said: "I think all of us need to carefully comb through the report.
"If indeed there are issues that specifically Lord Dyson wasn't able, due to the remit that he was given to look at, then there should be, and I'm sure there will be, an opportunity to do just that."
Bashir allegedly peddled 38 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' suitability as king.
Prince Harry and Prince William both welcomed the inquiry, blasting the "lurid and false claims" Bashir made to nab the interview with their mother.
The Duke of Cambridge said the lies about the Royal Family "played on her fears and fuelled paranoia" – while brother Harry said the probe was the "first step towards justice" for their mum.
Wills emphatically slammed the BBC for the interview and its fallout, insisting the failings "not only let my mother down, and my family down; they let the public down".
In a heartfelt outpouring, he told of his "indescribable sadness" that his tragic mother had been tricked and deceived by Bashir and failed by the Beeb and its leaders.
And he accused the corporation of failures which "contributed significantly" to Diana's "fear, paranoia and isolation" in her final years.
Brother Harry also released a statement from his home in the US, paying tribute to his mother's "unquestionable honesty".
He said: "Our mother was an incredible woman who dedicated her life to service. She was resilient, brave, and unquestionably honest."
The 36-year-old added: "That is the first step towards justice and truth."
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