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Published: Wednesday, 1/21/2009

Detroit reporter clings to Fifth in dispute over sources


DETROIT A Detroit newspaper reporter says he shouldn't be punished for invoking his Fifth Amendment right when refusing to name unidentified sources used for a story about a terrorism prosecutor.

David Ashenfelter's lawyers filed a response Wednesday to a request that he be held in contempt and fined until he provides information to Richard Convertino.

Convertino is a former federal prosecutor who is suing the U.S. Justice Department. He says his privacy was violated when someone in the agency leaked information to Ashenfelter about an ethics investigation.

Ashenfelter was ordered by a judge to answer questions about the 2004 story in the Detroit Free Press. But during the Dec. 8 deposition, he invoked his right against self-incrimination and the First Amendment.

A court hearing is set for Feb. 11.

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