Pro-ITN Libel Suit Post (re: THE TEARS OF THE MIGHTY

Jim heartfield jim at
Wed Mar 15 14:51:40 PST 2000

Nathan puts the other side, which is fine of course, but since I am forbidden under English law from arguing the LM case under threat of contempt of court, it is rather too late to appeal for a reasoned debate. ITN were offered on numerous occasions the right to reply, but chose to use a legal gag instead. Now to say that we should have a fair fight while my hands are tied is just hypocrisy.

Further Nathan says that the jury rejected LM's version of events.

But in fact we will never know what the jury thought of LM's version of events, because they were directed by Justice Morland that the question LM raised, who was behind, who in front of the wire, was of no account, only what was in the minds of Penny Marshall and Ian Williams, whether they intended to deceive.

In any event, juries make mistakes (especially British juries, as the Birmingham Six and the Guilford for will attest). No defender of free speech would accept a position where issues of opinion are decided by a jury, thenceforth to be closed to all public debate (on the principle that no body can bind its successors in perpetuity).

Brett asks 'who is right'? Well, on a point of information, LM never held that Omarska was anything but a detention camp, and indeed that the refugees in Trnopolje were plainly in a dangerous situation. The issue that LM resisted was that these were *extermination* camps, an impression that, LM suggested, was reinforced by the artfully posed video image of Fikret Alic, apparently imprisoned behind barbed wire (In their evidence to the courts both Penny Marshall and Ian Williams accepted that this was not in fact the case).

In any event people are at liberty to make any judgement they see fit on the rights and wrongs of the Bosnian war - except if they live in England, where they are forbidden from hearing views that contradict the ultra-wealthy ITN and their lickspittles on the bench.

In message <000801bf8ec6$68e57440$0890fea9 at nsn2>, Nathan Newman <nathan.newman at> writes
>As stated, I oppose libel suits, but unfotunately the original post around
>the ITN libel suit repeated the Serb apologist line from LM as well as the
>political opposition to the libel suit.
>So I am reposting this message outlining the reasons LM lost the libel suit,
>including the finding by the Hague that the camps in question were horrific
>detention camps, including indictments of key guards.
>The message is from Ian Williams, who has written about the region
>extensively, including an article from Ed Vulliamy on the suit and LM
>propaganda. I am against the right of the state to assess economic damages
>against a newspaper for political reporting, but on the issue of truth, it
>is worth noting that a jury was unconvinced by LM's reporting.

In message < at>, Brett Knowlton <brettk at> writes
>So, which version is correct? Were Omarska and Trnopolje concentration
>camps or not? Is there a trustworthy independent source, or does it come
>down to having to choose between the ITN or LM version of events?

-- Jim heartfield

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