Barry Bonds asked a federal judge to throw out the perjury charges against him, arguing that the indictment amounted to “a fastball, slide and knuckler [being] thrown at him simultaneously.”
A federal grand jury indicted the legendary San Francisco Giants slugger in November on four counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice after he testified in 2003 that he never knowingly used steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs. The case involved a Burlingame company, the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, or BALCO, which distributed the drugs.
On Wednesday, Bonds filed a motion to dismiss or to strike portions of the indictment against him. In the legal paperwork, he doesn’t admit or deny lying, instead asserting that the nature of how exactly he allegedly lied is unclear in the indictment.
In December, Bonds pleaded not guilty to the five charges which, if convicted, could place the home run king behind bars for as many as 30 years. During the arraignment, Bonds’ lead attorney, Allen Ruby, indicated that Bonds’ legal team would likely bring a motion to dismiss the indictment because of “defects.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Parrella, who is prosecuting the case against Bonds, declined to comment Wednesday, as did Ruby.
“In preparing his defense, defendant Bonds is entitled to clear notice of the unambiguous falsehoods he is accused of telling the grand jury, yet some portions of the indictment are so vague that is simply impossible to be certain what untruths Mr. Bonds is alleged to have uttered,” wrote Bonds’ attorney Dennis Riordan, who also criticized the indictment for its “striking inartfulness” and “scattershot nature.”
performance- enhancing drugs in former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell’s report on steroid abuse in baseball.
The prosecution has until the end of the day on
Feb. 14 to file a response to the motion. The case will be back in court for a status conference on Feb. 8.
Cornerstone of argument
On Wednesday, baseball great Barry Bonds asked U.S. District Judge Susan Illston to dismiss the indictment against him, arguing it is unclear from where the perjury charges stem. In the court filings related to the United States of America v. Barry Lamar Bonds, Bonds’ lawyer Dennis Riordan questions the inquiry associated with all four counts of perjury.
“For example, of what crime is Mr. Bonds charged in Count One: falsely swearing that he was not taking steroids in November of 2000; or falsely denying that he was obtaining testosterone from [trainer] Greg Anderson in December 2001?”
“Is Mr. Bonds accused in Count Two of lying when he denied he was ever injected by Mr. Anderson, or lying when he denied that Mr. Anderson every gave him anything that Anderson said had to be taken with a needle or a syringe?”
“Is the crime in Count Three about ever receiving human growth hormone from Anderson or lying about receiving testosterone from him in January of 2002?”
“And is the crime charged in Count Four falsely stating that the first time Anderson rubbed a cream on Mr. Bonds was during the 2003 season; or that the first time Anderson gave him flax seed oil was that same season; or stating that the first time Mr. Bonds received those items from Anderson was in either 2002 or 2003?”
Source: Court documents