the legal battle:


The original letter from ITN's solicitors

The legal documents so far:

>The original letter from ITN's solicitors

Statement of Claim from ITN

The Defence

Two-Ten Statement in Open Court

The Reply

The Defendants' List of Documents

Request For Further and Better Particulars of the Defence

The Reply to the Request

Request for Further and Better Particulars of the Reply

TEL: 0171 606 9301
FAX: 0171 606 3305

OUR REF: 40/117

24 January 1997

AND BY FAX NO : 0171 278 9844

Mick Hume Esq
The Editor
Living Marxism
Junius Publications Limited
BCM NP Limited
London WC1N 3XX

Dear Sir

The picture that fooled the World - Living Marxism February 1997

We represent Independent Television News Limited [ITN], Penny Marshall and Ian Williams, both ITN journalists.

On Thursday 23 January 1997 you put out [through UNS] a press release headed "Journalist exposes the truth behind Bosnia "death camp photograph" which was seriously defamatory of our clients.

The press release incorrectly alleged that the ITN reports on Channel Four News and News at Ten on 6 August 1992 [by Ian Williams and Penny Marshall respectively] were misleading and fooled the world. It was suggested that the image of an emaciated Bosnian Moslem was created [by implication fabricated] by "camera angles and editing". Your press release asserted that ITN and its journalists saw what they wanted to see rather than what was really there, took sides, took liberties with the facts and, shockingly you claim, failed to tell the full story about Trnopolje Camp.

These allegations are repeated in the article due to be published, we understand, on Thursday next week, in the February edition of Living Marxism.

These defamatory allegations are wholly false. They must be withdrawn immediately and an appropriate apology made. The article must be withdrawn from the February edition and any existing copies pulped. Our clients are also entitled to compensation for the publication of such bogus claims.

As a result of the press release our client has already received inquiries from media organisations about the proposed story and we note that the press release invites editors to contact the editor of Living Marxism and German journalist Thomas Deichmann via your press officer. Clearly it has been decided to seek to obtain the maximum publicity from peddling these false allegations of which you did not see fit to inform ITN prior to publication and give our clients an opportunity to rebut the untrue assertions set out in the press release and article.

Anyone who saw the news reports, which were fair and impartial, could not reasonably have drawn the conclusions you published. We require that you preserve all drafts of the article and other documents relating to it and the press release so that the motives for inventing such allegations can, if appropriate, be examined in due course.

On behalf of our clients we therefore require:-

The publication of an appropriate, agreed apology on UNS, PA and such other news services which carried your press release.

An undertaking not to repeat the allegations contained in the press release and article complained of.

The destruction of all copies of Living Marxism containing the article complained of.

Damages for libel.

Payment of our clients' reasonable legal costs.

We look forward to hearing from you, or your solicitors, by return. The seriousness of the defamatory allegations you make means that unless they are withdrawn immediately our clients will commence proceedings for libel.

Yours faithfully

Biddle & Co.

Statement of Claim from ITN