updated 3/14/2007 7:25:46 PM ET 2007-03-14T23:25:46

Three Jordanian men pleaded not guilty Wednesday to plotting to assassinate President Bush during a visit to Jordan in November.

The military court prosecutor revealed the alleged plot last week and charged the three with planning to carry out terrorist attacks and illegal possession of explosives.

The prosecutor also alleged the suspects — Nidhal Musleh al-Momani, Sattam al-Zawahrah and Tharwat Daraj — were planning to attack a Jordanian brewery in the northeastern city of Zarqa, and the American and Danish embassies in Amman. They were apparently unaware Denmark has no embassy in Jordan.

Defense attorney Abdul Jabar Abu-Gollah called the case "exaggerated and unrealistic" in a memorandum presented to the court. He said the defendants did not have the capability to carry out the alleged attacks.

A security officer testified Wednesday that he overheard al-Momani say he wanted to blow himself up in Bush's convoy. He did not provide details on how he heard the statement.

A second security officer testified that authorities confiscated several weapons when they arrested the suspects, including two M16s, explosives and detonators. Last week, the prosecutor told the court the defendants were found with homemade bombs made by filling large plastic bottles with gasoline.

Military courts in Jordan prohibit news organizations from releasing the names of prosecutors or witnesses for security reasons.

It was not immediately clear how far along or how sophisticated the suspects' alleged plans were.

The men were arrested on Nov. 28, the day before Bush's arrival in Amman for talks with King Abdullah II and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

According to the prosecutor, the three met in Zarqa in October to plan their attacks. If convicted, thy could face the death penalty.

The hearing was adjourned until March 21.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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