UPDATED 12:50 p.m. Jan. 5, 2015

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A New York Times journalist is refusing to answer detailed questions about his reporting on a secret CIA operation in Iran.

Reporter James Risen took the stand Monday in federal court in Alexandria in an unusual pretrial hearing.

Prosecutors subpoenaed Risen against his will. They say former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling illegally disclosed classified information about CIA operations in Iran to Risen for his 2006 book “State of War.”

Risen is refusing to testify whether Sterling was a source. At Monday’s hearing, Risen agreed only to answer perfunctory questions about the general accuracy of his reporting.

The hearing was designed to test exactly what Risen would be willing to answer. Sterling’s defense lawyers say prosecutors can’t prove the basics of their leak case against Sterling without detailed testimony from Risen.

RELATED: U.S. to Seek Limited Info from Journalist in CIA Leak Case


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