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Wed, 20 Aug 2014 10:00:06 +0000
(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- A New York Times reporter in Kabul was told by a top Afghan official that he could not leave the country pending an investigation of a story he wrote that claims a possible military coup is in the works if an impasse over the presidential election cannot be resolved.
Matthew Rosenberg says that he spoke with the Afghan attorney general Tuesday about his story. According to the Times reporter, the official wanted him to divulge his sources, which Rosenberg refused to do.
Rosenberg said that the attorney general and others were "polite but insistent" and told him to return Wednesday with a lawyer.
Meanwhile, Times international editor Joe Kahn later said in a statement: “The Afghan attorney general’s office has advised Matthew Rosenberg that he must remain in Afghanistan while an investigation into his article is ongoing."
A spokesman for the Afghan attorney general remarked that government officials were concerned that Rosenberg's account of what might happen if a new president isn't chosen soon would "create fear and confusion among the people," necessitating the reporter to stay in Afghanistan until the matter is cleared up.
Rosenberg, who stands by his story, said that top Afghan leaders with strong ties to the military are using the threat of a possible interim government to spur candidates Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah to reach a compromise.
An audit of all eight million ballots is being conducted following Abdullah's allegation of massive voter fraud. The preliminary tally following the run-off election had Ghani far ahead of his challenger.
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