My name is Matthew Wiessler and I worked as a graphic designer for BBC News and Current Affairs between October 1985 and October 1995.
In October 1995, Mr. Martin Bashir, a reporter on Panorama, asked me to reconstruct some documents. Reconstructing documents was not uncommon as I had previously been asked to "reconstruct" documents for use in filming on Panorama. At no point did Mr. Bashir explain to me what the documents were for.
Mr. Bashir visited my house and gave me personal information on what exactly these documents should contain. Then he left me alone to do the job. I set up the layout for the documents in his presence according to his express instructions. The job took me from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. the next morning.
I was recently shown a copy of the document. I can confirm that it contained the following details:
The documents were in the form of two pages of a bank statement. The first page of March 1994 shows a single loan from News International for £ 4,000. The second page, dated two months later, shows a single £ 6,500 loan from Penfolds Consultants (Jersey).
The numbers I was originally given didn't make any mathematical sense to me, but after a phone call with Mr Bashir this was corrected. The statement was from the National Westminster Bank on North Street in Brighton. The Account Owner was Alan Waller and Robert Harper, who traded as Weider Health and Fitness.
The footage was created from scratch so I had to reconstruct each element using an Apple Mac desktop computer. I printed it out on a black and white inkjet printer.
After completing these documents, a BBC driver in a car took an envelope addressed to Mr Bashir from my home to Terminal 2 at Heathrow Airport.
At the time, I pointed out to Mr Bashir that this was a personal favor, but that I would have to invoice Panorama a nominal amount of £ 250.00, an invoice I submitted a few days later and for which I have been paid since then am
I didn't think about it until a few weeks later – around the time the Bashir interview with Princess Diana was broadcast – when I discussed it with a producer on Panorama. He was surprised at the inclusion of the name Penfolds in the documents, as this name was known from an earlier program.
It was around this time that I spoke to Panorama editor Steve Hewlett about the matter both by phone and in person. He assured me that the matter was resolved.
I didn't do anything at that point. Shortly after the Panorama Christmas party in December 1995, I noticed that my backup disks for this work had somehow disappeared.
It was then that I decided to tell Tim Gardam, the weekly program manager at the time, and Tim Suter, the weekly program manager, everything I knew.
They told me they would sort the matter out from then on, and they called Tony Hall, the news and current affairs director, to discuss the matter with him. I expressed real concern about how my involvement in this matter and my decision to consult with it could potentially affect my position as someone who had just started freelance work. They assured me that there would be no effect. At that point, I went home.
Later that day I received a call from Tim Gardam assuring me that they had resolved the matter. Mr Gardam reiterated that there would be no impact on me personally. I decided to make this statement because I recently heard rumors that made me uneasy and I want to get the record straight.
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