The BBC journalist, 57, has been accused of falsifying documents to persuade the earl to introduce him to his sister, the princess. It has further been alleged that Mr Bashir preyed on the siblings’ insecurities by creating bank statements that suggested confidantes were in the pay of the security services.
But a documentary on Channel 4 tonight reveals that Lord Hall told BBC governors that Lord Spencer had given Mr Bashir a bank statement to copy.
The report claimed that “Martin took information he had got from the highest level and made them into a graphic using the bank statement Spencer had given him”.
It is not known who is meant by the “highest level” or in what circumstances the bank statement was handed over.
It is not suggested the earl knew it would be used to fashion fake bank statements.
The report was accepted at a BBC board of governors’ meeting, which concluded Bashir was “an honest man” who’d been foolish”.
Tonight’s show also raises questions about a letter seemingly written by Diana to the BBC, exonerating Mr Bashir of anything untoward.
The note, dated December 1995, reportedly said: “This is to confirm I gave you the interview freely and was not influenced by any documents.”
Mr Bashir is recovering from a heart bypass and COVID and has yet to respond.
He is also accused of further malpractice by the family of schoolgirl Karen Hadaway, one of two victims of the “Babes in the Wood” murders.
They say they let him take her clothes for DNA testing after he said new techniques could provide a breakthrough in the 1986 Brighton horror.
But they never got them back.
Last night the BBC said it had appointed Lord Dyson to investigate the Diana interview claims, adding it was “determined to get to the truth”.
• The Diana Interview: Truth Behind the Scandal, C4, 8pm tonight.