Former Cuban President Fidel Castro says the case of the two Americans accused of spying for Cuba is "ridiculous."

In an essay posted on a Cuban Web site, Mr. Castro neither confirmed nor denied the veracity of the spy charges brought by U.S. authorities against a former State Department official with a top secret security clearance, and his wife. 

U.S. officials have accused the couple of spying for Cuba for nearly 30 years and meeting with then-Cuban President Castro in 1995.

Mr. Castro says he does not recall meeting the couple.  

Walter Kendall Myers and Gwendolyn Steingraber Myers pleaded not guilty Friday in federal court in Washington to charges, including conspiracy to act as illegal agents of the Cuban government and to communicate classified information to authorities in Havana.

The charges carry sentences of up to 20 years in prison. 

The two have been ordered held until a detention hearing Wednesday. 

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.