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Breakfast with Frost
Andrew Shaw
Andrew Shaw, Paul Burrell's solicitor
BBC BREAKFAST WITH FROST INTERVIEW: ANDREW SHAW, PAUL BURRELL'S SOLICITOR & RICHARD KAY DAILY MAIL JOURNALIST NOVEMBER 3rd, 2002

Please note "BBC Breakfast with Frost" must be credited if any part of this transcript is used

DAVID FROST: Well the end of the case against Paul Burrell has been described as one of the most sensational legal denouement in recent years. On Friday lunchtime, of course, Paul Burrell emerged from the Old Bailey alongside his solicitor. After a fortnight of cross examination which many thought had successfully undermined the prosecution case anyway, the whole thing collapsed on the eve of Paul Burrell taking the stand. But although Burrell is now in the clear, and apparently considering offers worth a million pounds to give the inside story of life with Diana, there are many mysteries still surrounding how the prosecution case was put together and why the Queen's evidence emerged when it did. To examine some of those mysteries we're joined by Paul Burrell's solicitor, who masterminded the case, Andrew Shaw - good morning Andrew.

ANDREW SHAW: Good morning to you.

DAVID FROST: And we're delighted to have with us the Daily Mail journalist Richard Kay, who was one of the few journalists who was trusted by Princess Diana. Welcome to you both. Very good to have you here. How did it all begin, your involvement, Andrew? I mean there was the dawn raid, when did you first learn what was happening?

ANDREW SHAW: Well it was during the course of the morning. I received a telephone call from his other solicitor and was asked to speak to Paul - I didn't know him at that stage, although coincidentally we'd both been members of the same gym and I'd probably seen him. I arrived at the house during mid-morning when the search was already very much underway and immediately appreciated the enormity of what was happening.

DAVID FROST: And there was no search warrant, it's said, but just a signed statement from Lady Sarah McCorquodale.

ANDREW SHAW: That's right.

DAVID FROST: That was odd, wasn't it?

ANDREW SHAW: Well it was, and it's one of the things that we've considered perhaps as one of the stranger parts about the case, because in order to obtain a warrant you would need to apply to a magistrate with sworn evidence as to the nature of your case supporting the application for a warrant. We don't know, and perhaps we'll never know, but we, we rather feel that it might have been difficult to do that.

DAVID FROST: Difficult to do that. And who, who really was behind it - from what you wrote yesterday, the Spencer family and Lady Sarah McCorquodale were pushing for this case - were they the main spark for the raid?

RICHARD KAY: Whether they were the main spark for the raid, we don't absolutely know for sure, but the police, to be fair, went to the Spencers with allegations - they were investigating a separate case of fraud involving another royal servant and they had what they thought was a suggestion that Paul Burrell may have been in league with this person - so, I mean naturally, the Spencers had to go along with what the police said at that stage.

DAVID FROST: But the headlines in your piece talked about the loathing of the Spencers, the way in which they went off Paul Burrell when he started, apparently when he started defending some of Diana's goods from being shredded. He said there was a lot of shredding went on.

RICHARD KAY: Well we know that from the case, that Mrs Shand Kydd, Diana's mother, admitted that she had shredded a number of documents and correspondence. We don't know precisely what that correspondence was but Paul Burrell clearly was concerned at what he saw of the erasion of history and, and he took steps to try and protect this - he was worried about Diana's legacy, and that clearly is what he told the Queen when he went to see her.

DAVID FROST: Where will all these various items go now, Andrew? Will you be making a claim for those that belong to Paul?

ANDREW SHAW: Well one of the things about the case that's a disappointment is that when we went to the police station for Paul's final interview on the 16th of August last year, we handed to the police a 39 page statement, that has been widely quoted, but the first 11 pages set out a number of very important points, a number of areas of confidential palace life, or matters that he knew about in confidence, which we thought should not go into the public realm. And then he provided, in the balance of the statement, an explanation for all of the items that he had. Now in that statement he said "a lot of them are mine and therefore I want them" he'll want them back. In relation to some of the others, he said "I was protecting these for Princes William and Harry, or protecting them, if you like, for history." Those, I think that Paul will agree, should go back to Prince William and Harry - they are older now, of course, than they were at the time that the Princess died.

DAVID FROST: Well they go back to Prince William and Prince Harry or to the Spencer family?

RICHARD KAY: Well, as Andrew said, they're older now, they're both over 18 and they've attained their majorities. I should think it was, it will be Paul's wish that they should go directly to the boys.

DAVID FROST: When did you hear, you obviously knew in the 39 page document about the meeting with the Queen - the vital meeting with the Queen - when did you know the contents of that.

ANDREW SHAW: Well actually in the 39 page statement, at the time of that, I don't think we were aware of the meeting with the Queen. I think we became aware of it subsequently, but not the full terms of it. And we were only really made aware of those by Paul on Thursday and I think, I suspect then, we got the tip of the iceberg, perhaps.

DAVID FROST: But I mean he would have had to use that fact - I mean one lawyer said to save yourself you have to bare all - I mean he would have used that fact in court if he had to.

ANDREW SHAW: Well I'm not sure if he would Sir David, because another thing that we'd said in the statement - the statement unfortunately isn't something that's going to be in the public domain but I took an extract from it earlier on, if I can see very briefly if I can find it what it said, the essence of it, effectively, was that Paul had been privy to a number of private conversations between the Prince and Princess. He knew what the terms of the conversation were and he was never going to tell anybody about it. So that even though those matters might have been of some significance to him, he wasn't going to tell anybody what they were.

DAVID FROST: Why were there three days of court deliberations, from which the defence was excluded this week - what was going on?

ANDREW SHAW: Well it was a mystery to us at the time, we didn't know what was going on. We weren't told what was going on and we sat ourselves thinking of a number of different possibilities. This possibility was almost too remote to contemplate. We thought that there might be a third party intervention, but the fact that the case might disappear, as it did, was really something that was too good to be true.

DAVID FROST: But once you heard, on the Thursday, of some of the contents, did you know on the Thursday that you had won?

ANDREW SHAW: No. We didn't know until we walked into court and indeed we didn't know that William Boyce, who was prosecuting, was going to say what he did say in court, that Alex Carlile, who was - Lord Carlile - who was defending, wasn't told of the content of that beforehand.

DAVID FROST: Richard, in terms of the conspiracy theories that have been surfacing in the last 24, 48 hours, obviously the official story is the story about the Queen, the previous Friday and so on and so forth. Some people have suggested it was a decision made by Buckingham Palace in order to stop Paul Burrell ever having to testify and testifying about what the miracle, seven Windsor secrets and so on. Do you take the conspiracy theory on board at all, or do you just dismiss it?

RICHARD KAY: No I don't buy that and also I would say that over the last two or three weeks the House of Windsor had a pretty rough ride anyway from what's come out in court - it's been damaging all round. No I genuinely think this was an error of communication, one can't blame the Queen, the Queen is advised by some very good people but she also has some very poor people and you'd have thought someone, somewhere would have realised that something was not quite right. I mean Paul Burrell had a three hour conversation with her.

DAVID FROST: Well that's, that's fascinating, that three hours. What did they talk about for three hours And apparently he was standing all the time, according to one report.

ANDREW SHAW: I don't know that, and I know only part of what they discussed. I wrote to the Queen many months ago and offered to meet her solicitor and to show him any documentation that I'd got in my possession - everything. Because I felt then, although clearly I was occupying a partisan stance as being Paul Burrell's solicitors, that something was going wrong with this case, really, from the start and that the injured parties in the case were likely to be Princes William and Harry. I felt myself, frankly, as a father also, that that was, it was unfair, it was wrong and it wasn't motivated by the right reasons.

DAVID FROST: And you just got no reply or - ?

ANDREW SHAW: I got a reply from the Queen's solicitor and they declined to meet.

DAVID FROST: What about the police in all this, Richard? You've detailed all the things, the two of them who went down, Maxine de Bruner and Commander Yates who went down and grossly misled Prince Charles, according to the court.

ANDREW SHAW: Yes.

DAVID FROST: Lied, in the sense they said they had evidence for these things when they didn't - I suppose that's classified as a lie - all these accusations about the photo of him dancing in a dress of Princess Diana that the Mail was supposed to have a copy of, and that didn't exist, and all these points, when they went on trying to stand them up they failed to put it all and they did not go back to Prince Charles and say we were wrong ...

RICHARD KAY: Well that was the error. What they failed to do, and what they failed to do throughout this case, and which is why so many people came forward to support Paul Burrell, all of the Princess's close circle, they didn't attempt to find out what the essence of Paul Burrell was. His loyalty, his devotion and that he would never ever do anything like this. And that seems to me a fundamental flaw in the case, they just assumed that these sums of money that were coming to his bank account must have been because he had been selling things, because someone, somewhere had told him that he had when he hadn't.

DAVID FROST: And why did the Queen take so long, do you think, to intervene?

RICHARD KAY: That's a very good question. I mean I'm not sure we'll ever know. Perhaps someone, in recent weeks, jogged her memory. I mean you have to remember the monarch is supposed to stand above and well out of these things - she does. Nevertheless it's hard to conceive that she hasn't taken an interest in a case of a former favourite of hers - she must have been following the case, and someone must have said to her at some stage 'Your Majesty, didn't you see Paul?'.

DAVID FROST: Would it have been embarrassing for the royal family if Paul had taken the stand?

ANDREW SHAW: Paul would never have said anything gratuitously, about the royal family, for the sake of sensationalism - he absolutely respects and reveres the Queen and the royal family. He would have had to protect himself and he'd have to protect his family - I'd said that at the start. I also agree with Richard, I'm not an adherent of the conspiracy theory, I think it's wrong. My own personal feeling is, and I think it's probably what the Queen may have said, that she became aware of, or she appreciated the significance of the conversation quite recently when she saw the way things were going in court - because of course it had been represented to Prince Charles that there was evidence that Paul had sold things, well that's a very different thing.

DAVID FROST: That comes back to the police who presented it - will they be suspended those police officers?

ANDREW SHAW: I have no idea, I mean this is supposed to be an elite squad in Scotland Yard. It hasn't been in existence very long but I imagine there's going to be some huge question about its future.

DAVID FROST: There's a headline here, we quoted earlier on, "Diana's butler set to sue over court ordeal," and then a slightly more diffident first paragraph, "The former royal butler sensationally cleared of stealing items belonging to Diana was considering legal action against the police and the Crown Prosecution Service last night as opposition MPs called for a full public investigation into the ..." Is he considering - are you considering that at the moment, on his behalf?

ANDREW SHAW: No. I think at the moment Paul should sit back, enjoy being back with his family, get himself back to full strength, physically and mentally, and then contemplate things afterwards - there's no need to rush into something like this. He's, he's a private man, he's not a man who is litigious by nature, but of course he'll do what's right and we'll consider all of the options with him when he wants us to.

DAVID FROST: Do you think that he will accept one of these offers to tell all?

ANDREW SHAW: No. I don't think that he will ever tell all. I don't think that you could force him to tell all, I don't think it would be possible. And I think that there will always be the important intimate secrets, that he was entrusted to by the, entrusted with by the Princess, that will never be told.

DAVID FROST: You know him very well too, would you agree with that?

RICHARD KAY: Oh I would. I mean it, it was the heart of his defence, integrity has been his by-word, his watch word for the last five years since the death of Diana, and that's why - again - I was so baffled by this case, because it wasn't these few items he may or may not have had in his possession which were so valuable, it's what's inside his head. He was offered millions, David, after the Princess died, to tell his story, and he hasn't.

DAVID FROST: Which is a turning point - it would be a sea change if he did.

RICHARD KAY: Yes.

DAVID FROST: Well it seems from this discussion, would you say Richard, that the people who seem to be coming out worst out of this whole situation seem to be the police and, and possibly the Spencers.

RICHARD KAY: And sadly, I mean well, you know, I feel very sorry for them, I mean I really do and I think they too were misled by the nature of this prosecution, and perhaps on retrospect they could have done something to intervene earlier.

DAVID FROST: Well thank you both. What next for Paul? We discussed the million pound offers and you don't think he'll do that. What will he do?

ANDREW SHAW: Well I think he should buy the largest supply of roses that he can for his shop, because I'm sure he's going to be very busy for a while. Then I think he needs to take a holiday and spend some time with his family because this has been very, very wounding to them - his wife suffered hugely during the trial. When she was seen on television during the first day, I think anybody who saw that would have felt for her very deeply, she's a sensitive woman.

DAVID FROST: And he suffered too, as you were saying about his hands - thank you both very much indeed. Richard, thank you. Andrew thank you. Thank you both very much indeed.

INTERVIEW ENDS

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