Sports

Bonds’ Lawyers Want To Prevent Players From Testifying

(Photo by David Paul Morris/Getty Images)

(Photo by David Paul Morris/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Lawyers for Barry Bonds want to bar slugger Jason Giambi and other former pro athletes from testifying at his perjury trial scheduled to begin March 21.

Bonds was charged with 11 counts of perjury and obstruction after telling a federal grand jury that he never knowingly took performance-enhancing drugs. Baseball’s career home run leader has pleaded not guilty.

Bonds’ lawyers filed papers in federal court late Friday asking U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston to prohibit the athletes’ testimony and other key evidence they say is tied to Bonds’ personal trainer, Greg Anderson.

Illston already has ruled off-limits any evidence connected to Anderson because of his refusal to testify. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed that ruling.

The former players with connections to Anderson they are hoping to exclude from the trial are Marvin Benard, Jeremy Giambi, Armando Rios, Benito Santiago, Randy Velarde and retired football player Larry Izzo.

In addition, the Bonds’ legal team wants to know why the fraud investigation of the player’s former business partner and key prosecution witness, Stevie Hoskins, was dropped. In separate court papers filed Friday, Bonds’ lawyers asked the judge to order prosecutors to tell them why Hoskins wasn’t charged in an investigation after Bonds complained to the FBI on July 24, 2003, that Hoskins was allegedly selling Bonds-related memorabilia without the player’s knowledge.

Five months later, Bonds testified in front of a federal grand jury about performance-enhancing drugs.

Hoskins is a key prosecution witness because he recorded a conversation he had with Anderson where prosecutors allege they are discussing Bonds’ steroids use.

On Nov. 5, 2005, prosecutors informed Hoskins they were dropping the investigation after “an evaluation of the evidence” related to Hoskins’ business dealings with Bonds. The letter was written by a prosecutor in the Seattle U.S. Attorney’s office, which handled the case because of a conflict the San Francisco office had because of the steroids investigation.

Bonds attorneys want to know if Hoskins was shown leniency in exchange for his testimony against Bonds.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

© 2010 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.

Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.