Military officials in Wellington were quick to reject the claims in the article by freelance investigative reporter and liberal activist Nicky Hager.
wrote that the military became unhappy at Stephenson's reporting on how it treated Afghan prisoners.
"We have identified no information at this time that supports Mr. Hager's
That document was leaked to Hager
, who provided a copy to The Associated Press
On Monday, Hager
stood by the story.
"Direct denials are always unsettling, but I would not have published unless I had a really good source," he
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, who has written several books on New Zealand military intelligence, declined to elaborate on his
faced unwarranted denials before.
The confidential order he
obtained states under the heading "The Threat" that "Organizations with extreme ideologies may try to acquire classified information, not necessarily to give to a potential enemy, but because its use may bring the government into disrepute.