[Independent On Sunday - 26 January 1997]
ITN 'may sue over article' - by Vanessa Thorpe
The Maker of News at Ten, Independent Television News, has threatened to sue the editor of the magazine Living Marxism if he fails to pulp every copy of his latest issue after taking exception to the journal's investigation of their award winning coverage of Bosnia.
The broadcast news service claims that an article written by German freelancer Thomas Deichmann undermines the integrity of its reporting by claiming that "concentration camp" footage from 1992, which showed starving prisoners interned by Bosnian Serbs, was seriously misleading.
According to Mr Deichmann, who says he has obtained a video of the full ITN rushes shot at Trnopolje, the camera crew and the ITN reporter Penny Marshall walked into an adjacent fenced compound in order to film the Croat and Muslim refugees through barbed wire.
The striking images of emaciated torsos did much to galvanise international opinion against the Bosnian Serbs. British newspapers used stills from the scene on their front pages with headlines such as "Belsen 92" and "The Proof".
What has upset ITN is that Mr Deichmann, who says he obtained the footage through an FBI source, accuses those British journalists present on the day of staying quiet once the pictures were widely interpreted as evidence of Bosnian-Serb starvation camps. He claims they were refugee centres.
He goes on to allege that the reporters were all invited to the camp as a direct result of Radovan Karadzic's visit to Britain that week. Mr Karadzic, he says, had especially asked for Marshall and Ed Vulliamy of the Guardian to visit Trnopolje in order to scotch rumours of Bosnian-Serb atrocities at the site.
"The fault was in not explaining how these pictures came about", Mr Deichmann told the Independent on Sunday".