Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Bonds' lawyers say questions ambiguous, want charges dismissed
SAN FRANCISCO -- Attorneys for Barry Bonds urged a federal judge Wednesday to toss out charges accusing baseball's all-time home run king of lying to a grand jury about his alleged steroid use. They said the questions asked during his testimony were too ambiguous.
For instance, Bonds' attorneys said, prosecutors asked him during his December 2003 grand jury appearance if he had "taken anything like" steroids.
"We simply think the questions and answers are far too confusing or vague to support a valid conviction," Bonds' attorney Dennis Riordan argued.
U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston said she would rule on Bonds' request.
Bonds had testified that he never knowingly took any performance-enhancing drugs. Federal prosecutors have said they will prove at trial that Bonds' personal trainer supplied him with steroids in the months before he set baseball's season home run mark in 2001.
Bonds is charged with 14 counts of making false declarations to a grand jury and one count of obstruction of justice. His lawyers asked the judge Wednesday to toss out 10 of the charges.
He has pleaded not guilty to all counts and is scheduled for trial on March 2.
Prosecutors defended their questioning of Bonds as proper and meant to aid the grand jury's investigation of a sports doping ring centered at the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, known as BALCO.