The BBC was accused last night of refusing to pay damages to Earl Spencer’s former head of security whose bank statements were forged on the orders of Martin Bashir.
Alan Waller said he was both angry and confused that the BBC was not engaging “in any meaningful way” over his claim for £500,000 compensation.
His dismay has been fuelled by a payment of hundreds of thousands of pounds to Matt Wiessler, the graphic artist who mocked up Mr Waller’s statements on the orders of Bashir.
Bashir used the fake statements to win the trust of Earl Spencer, who introduced him to Princess Diana leading to his ‘scoop of the century’ interview with her.
‘Dragged through the mud’
Mr Waller said: “My name was dragged through the mud repeatedly by Bashir. And yet there has been no meaningful engagement by the BBC.”
Bashir used the mocked-up statements as evidence that Mr Waller was receiving money from both a tabloid newspaper and the security services to spy on Earl Spencer and Princess Diana.
The claims were false. Bashir asked me to Mr Wiessler to fake the NatWest bank statements showing mocked up payments which he then showed to earl Spencer, prior to securing his interview with the princess in 1995.
Mr Wiessler has now received damages from the corporation which blacklisted him at the time after he blew the whistle on Bashir.
Lawyers for Mr Waller have offered to settle all claims against the corporation for £495,000 but the BBC continues to drag its feet.
‘Massive legal costs’
Mr Waller said: “The BBC has not accepted this [my claim]. Equally, they have not engaged with us in any meaningful way nor offered to do so. Instead, they have indicated that they wish to stretch matters out to the next level, which of course, if the matter has to go to court, will incur massive legal costs.”
An independent review conducted by Lord Dyson, the former Master of the Rolls, concluded that Bashir had acted with deceit in gaining the Princess Diana interview and prompted the journalist to resign as the BBC’s religion editor earlier this year.
Mr Waller said: “I am confused by the BBC and their attitude in light of the Dyson findings. They stated publicly that they would accept the results in their entirety. It is clear that despite the results of the Dyson inquiry and the public acceptance, the BBC is still fighting.”
Mr Waller, a former soldier who has been working to secure the safe passage of families from Afghanistan in recent weeks, added: “Internally it would appear that the BBC does not wish to accept any liability or responsibility. All we wish to do is put this behind us.”
Mr Waller has even received a letter from the Government accepting he was a ‘victim’ of Bashir’s dirty tricks, making him all the more baffled that the BBC refuses to settle his claim.
A BBC source said the corporation was working through a number of claims. The corporation has declined to comment on specific cases.
In the interview broadcast on BBC1 in November 1995, Princess Diana complained of her husband’s infidelity with Camilla Parker-Bowles, telling Bashir: “There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.”