Legal lingo altered in Bonds’ indictment
By: By PAUL ELIAS, Associated Press Writer
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Federal prosecutors have unveiled a revamped indictment against Barry Bonds, but the career home run leader’s lawyers say nothing has changed.
“Barry Bonds is innocent,” the player’s lead attorney, Allen Ruby, said after his client was once again charged with lying to a grand jury and hampering the federal government’s doping investigation.
Bonds originally was indicted in November by a federal grand jury on four counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice.
On Tuesday, a grand jury handed up a superseding indictment charging him with 14 counts of making false declarations to a grand jury in 2003 and one count of obstruction of justice.
No new lies were alleged in Tuesday’s document.
“It’s exactly the same,” Golden Gate University law professor Peter Keane said. “It’s two ways of saying it’s lying, and there’s really no substantial difference between what he was charged with then and what he is charged with now.”
Following a motion by Bonds’ lawyers to dismiss the case, U.S. District Judge Susan Illston in February ordered prosecutors to rewrite the indictment because multiple alleged lies were lumped into single charges.
The case against Bonds remains built on whether he lied when he told the grand jury that his personal trainer, Greg Anderson, never supplied him with steroids and human growth hormone.
Bonds’ next hearing already had been scheduled for June 6 before the new indictment was unsealed, but Ruby said it is unclear whether Bonds’ will be expected to enter a plea then. Ruby said Bonds will appear in court to plead not guilty to the new charges.
The Major League Baseball Players Association said last week it was investigating whether to file a collusion grievance against teams for not pursuing him
Bonds, who became a free agent when the Giants decided they didn’t want him back after 15 seasons.
The 43-year-old outfielder, a seven-time National League most valauble player, says he wants to play this year.
His agent claims no team has made an offer for the 14-time All-Star.
There were rumblings in the offseason that the Bay Area Oakland Athletics might have interest in Bonds, although that never got past the rumor stage.
Bonds hit 28 homers last year to raise his total to 762, seven more than Hank Aaron’s previous record.
Since the end of last season, the San Francisco Giants have pulled all indications of Bonds’ career from their ballpark.