Friday, February 27, 2009
Anderson to remain silent
SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Bonds' former trainer, Greg Anderson, has told a judge he will refuse to testify at the slugger's perjury trial.
At a hearing ordered by U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston, Anderson said he would keep silent as Bonds' trial, which is scheduled to begin Monday.
Illston told Anderson at a hearing that she will order him to testify on Wednesday when attorneys are slated to deliver their opening statements to the jury. Anderson said that he will disobey the order, a move that could put him back behind bars.
The judge said Anderson will be incarcerated during the trial for contempt of court until he changes his mind or for the length of the proceedings, which are expected to last a month. He was previously imprisoned for refusing to testify about Bonds before a grand jury.
Illston wanted to determine Anderson's intentions during the hearing, without a jury present.
Without Anderson's testimony, the judge is barring prosecutors from showing jurors key evidence such as positive drug tests alleged to have belonged to Bonds.
Federal prosecutors have told a judge they would let her know by Friday evening whether they will appeal her ruling on that evidence. Illston said Friday that such an appeal will most likely lead to a delay in the start of the slugger's trial.
Prosecutors said they would let Illston know by 6 p.m. ET whether they will appeal her ruling to a higher court.
Prosecutors said in court papers they will demand Anderson be jailed for contempt. Anderson previously served a year in prison for refusing to testify before a grand jury.
"I would be delighted to know that I'm wrong about that," said Illston, who noted that 90 prospective jurors were planning to show up to court on Monday. "I would be delighted to have the discretion to deny" the delay.
Bonds is accused of lying to a grand jury when he denied he knowingly took performance-enhancing drugs.