Three private investigators charged in the Hewlett-Packard spying scandal have pleaded not guilty to felony charges.

The three appeared yesterday at the Santa Clara County Superior Court in California and were released without bail after entering their pleas. Ronald DeLia, managing director of Security Outsourcing Solutions, and Matthew Depante and Bryan C. Wagner, both of Action Research Group, face charges of fraudulent wire communications, wrongful use of computer data, identity theft and conspiracy.

Their next court appearance is scheduled for 17 November - the same day that former HP Chairman Patricia Dunn is set to appear on similar charges. Also charged is Kevin Hunsaker, HP's former ethics counsel, who will appear on 6 December.