Bonds pleads not guilty to perjury

June 6, 2008 6:56:51 PM PDT
The hiccup in the federal indictment against Barry Bonds got back on track. The slugger was arraigned on 15 revised charges that he knowingly used steroids and lied about it.

Along with his lawyers, Barry Bonds entered the San Francisco Federal Building, ignoring questions. Today he was arraigned on 15 federal charges. Federal prosecutors say that bonds knowingly used steroids as far back as 1998, and then lied to a federal grand jury about it five years later.

Attorney Allen Ruby says prosecutors don't have the evidence to convict bonds.

"What proof have you seen the government put forward to suggest that these charges, which took them four years to file, have any merit?"

Barry Bonds was accused, along with eight others some of them athletes -- of using steroids tied to the Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative known as BALCO. The accusations stained his home run records and has left a cloud over his entire career.

"He's innocent. He didn't lie to the grand jury. He's innocent of these charges. He didn't obstruct justice, He didn't do what he's accused of," says Ruby.

Prosecutors would not comment, but ABC7 legal analyst Dean Johnson says it may be difficult for the U.S. Attorney to present compelling evidence against bonds. Johnson says it seems only testimony from Bonds friend and former trainer could convict him.

"The only person who could be able to say, 'I gave Barry Bonds steroids and I said Barry these are steroids', showing that Barry Bonds knowingly took steroids is Gary Anderson," says Johnson.

Anderson spent more than a year in prison for his part in BALCO and for refusing to testify against Bonds on two other occasions. Bonds left the court quietly without comment.

There will be two more court dates this summer, when both sides are expected to file motions. The trial date has been set for March 2, 2009.


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