Faget pleads not guilty to spying

March 7, 2000 - Miami Herald

An INS section chief jailed on a charge he disclosed secrets in an effort to spy for Cuba appeared briefly in U.S. District Court on Monday and pleaded not guilty at his arraignment.

Mariano Faget, 54, has acknowledged inappropriate disclosures but rejects any suggestion he was spying for or in any other way working to benefit the Cuban government.

"My whole life has been pro-American and living the American dream and bringing up my family," Faget said in an earlier court appearance. "I want to clear my name."

Faget did not testify at Monday's hearing, which was called only to allow him to enter a formal plea to the five-count federal indictment charging him with communicating national defense information, conversion of government property for personal use and three false statements.

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