C oncerning the article "Officials accused of hostage scams" in the issue of Aug 26-Sept 4, we would like to clarify the following facts.
First of all NDN is not a network but a news agency which sends TV news to various TV networks.
NDN has allegedly paid $10,000 to Mr Som Vuthea. This is not the case. Since we are well known as a frequent buyer of video footage, many come to our offices to offer video tapes. When the particular video tape was offered to us, we considered it as an ordinary sale of footage.
We do not usually inquire about the source of the tape as long as it is 'real'. We had no knowledge of the way of getting the footage. We paid a relatively high fee to the person who offered it as it was definitely a scoop.
The fee was, we believe, reasonable and far below the reported price. Actually we sold the material to the BBC.
This kind of information is of course confidential. But your article may undermine our reputation. We hereby disclose the fact. We shall be happy if you could understand our stand and make the necessary correction to the article.
- Hitoshi Takase, head of press department NDN-Nihon Denpa News, Tokyo.