Mohamad Soueid, Syria spy suspect, was on fact-finding mission, lawyer says

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) - The lawyer for a Virginia man accused of acting as a Syrian spy says his client's recent travel to that country was part of a fact-finding mission led by a U.S. congressman, not part of an espionage conspiracy.

But the congressman who led the delegation, Ohio Democrat Dennis Kucinich, denies knowing the man.

A judge held a detention hearing Monday for 47-year-old Mohamad Soueid of Leesburg, accused of spying on Syrian expatriates in the U.S. on behalf of the regime of President Bashar Assad.

Soueid's lawyer, Haytham Faraj, said prosecutors are twisting facts to make Soueid's actions appear sinister. An indictment accuses Soueid of traveling to Syria and meeting personally with Assad. Faraj said Soueid was a member of Kucinich's delegation.

But Kucinich Monday said he doesn't know Soueid.