Former U.S. attorney general Richard G. Kleindienst pleaded innocent today to 14 charges of perjury that relate to an alleged multimillion-dollar Arizona insurance swindle.
In a press conference after his arraignment, the Nixon White House official denounced the prosecution case as "an outrage" and predicted vindication.
Trial was set for June 10 in Maricopa County superior court here.
Standing before Court Commissioner John J. Trombino, Kleindienst -- hands folded in front of him -- gave mainly yes and no answers to 11 questions about his familial and professional background. His three lawyers included a former U.S. attorney for Arizona, William Smitherman.
Trombino freed Kleindienst on his own recognizance.
Before his court appearance, Kleindienst went to the county jail to be photographed and finger-printed.
Outside the courthouse, he said, "This has been a very, very difficult day for me and my family. I think it's an outrage. I'm sustained in this whole matter first by my innocence and then by my family and the hundreds of friends all over the country who know me.
"And I'm convinced in my own heart that when the matter is concluded, I will be vindicated and that I'll be found not guilty.
"I'm the only person involved in this whole thing who has submitted himself to polygraph examination and a lie detector test."
Kleindienst refused to answer specific questions, except to tell a reporter that he had passed the polygraph test.
The 14 perjury charges in the indictment relate to falsehoods Kleindienst allegedly knowingly uttered under oath before a State Bar of Arizona administrative committee in April, 1978, and before the bar's disciplinary board in December, 1980.
The bar was probing Kleindienst's involvement in an alleged insurance swindle involving Arizona's Family Provider Insurance Co. and Joseph Hauser, a California insurance promoter and convicted swindler.