In 1995 journalist Martin Bashir procured an interview with Princess Diana for the BBC’s Panorama programme by fabricating fake bank statements purporting to show that employees of Princess Diana and her brother were being paid by newspapers to spy on them. Mr Bashir engaged Mr Wiessler, a graphic designer, to create the bank statements. Mr Wiessler blew the whistle to his BBC managers as soon as he realised the true intention behind them. However, an internal BBC inquiry decided to uphold Martin Bashir’s integrity and scapegoated Mr Wiessler. The report that followed said, “we are taking steps to ensure that the graphic designer involved – Matthew Wiessler – will not work for the BBC again.” In November 2020 an independent inquiry headed by Lord Dyson concluded that i) Martin Bashir was guilty of using deceitful methods, ii) no blame attached to Mr Wiessler and iii) “I am satisfied that the BBC covered up in its press logs such facts as it had been able to establish about how Mr Bashir secured the interview.” The BBC have since apologised and agreed a settlement with Mr Wiessler.
The case has been reported in The Times and can be viewed here.
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