SOLICITORS BIDDLE & CO
LONDON EC2V 7BU
TEL: 0171 606 9301
FAX: 0171 606 3305
DX: 1008 LONDON
OUR REF: 40/117
24 January 1997
AND BY FAX NO : 0171 278 9844
Mick Hume Esq
Junius Publications Limited
BCM NP Limited
London WC1N 3XX
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 They must be withdrawn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be withdrawn from the February edition and any existing copies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.
Biddle & Co.
Statement of Claim from ITN