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New York Times reporter James Risen, center, leaves federal court in Alexandria, Va., on Jan. 5. At the time, prosecutors called Risen a critical witness in their case against ex-CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

CIA leak case about-face: Feds don’t want reporter on stand

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — After pushing for years to get testimony from a recalcitrant New York Times reporter in a CIA leak case, prosecutors now want to bar journalist James Risen from testifying at all.

Federal prosecutors in Alexandria filed a motion Monday saying that neither prosecutors nor the defense should be permitted to call Risen at the trial of ex-CIA man Jeffrey Sterling, whose jury trial begins Tuesday.

Prosecutors believe Sterling leaked details about a botched CIA operation in Iran to Risen. But prosecutors say that Risen has made clear he won’t divulge his sources, so there’s no point calling him.

Defense lawyers want to call Risen and believe some of his testimony would help their client.

Last June, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an effort by Risen to avoid testifying.