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May 1997

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[The Spectator - 17 May 1997]

LETTERS - Brave signatories

Sir: I see that Tom Carter has turned his attentions to your Letters page (10 May), having bombarded ours with his green-inked rantings for the past six years. Mr Carter is as lucid as he ever was.

Apart from other inaccuracies (LM did not support any candidates in the general election), Carter misrepresents the facts of our dispute with ITN. Thomas Deichmann's article, published in the February issue of LM, convincingly argued that Trnopolje was not the concentration camp it was taken to be by the rest of the world. Fikret Alic and his fellow Muslims were not imprisoned behind a barbed-wire fence. This can be clearly seen from the unbroadcast rushes of the ITN report. When these rushes were seen by Fikret Alic, who was flown into the Bonn press conference by an anti-Serb NGO, he could only say that the footage presented by Thomas Deichmann could not be the same as that filmed by ITN. Even ITN have not disputed that the film in Deichmann's possession contains the unedited rushes of their report broadcast on 6 August 1992.

The journalists who signed the letter in protest at ITN's use of the libel law to silence its critics are to be commended - there have been too few in their profession prepared to put their necks on the line over this case.

Jan Macvarish

LM magazine, London WC1

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