Prosecutors list witnesses for Bonds trial in March


Bonds, 46, is due to go on trial in the court of U.S. District Judge Susan Illston in San Francisco on March 21 on charges that he lied to a grand jury in 2003 when he said he never knowingly took steroids.

He was originally slated to be tried two years earlier, on March 3, 2009, but that trial date was abruptly cancelled three days beforehand when prosecutors decided to appeal a key evidence ruling.

On Friday, prosecutors from the U.S. attorney's office in San Francisco filed a planned witness list that is nearly identical to the one they submitted for the earlier trial date.

The prosecutors said they again intend to call Bonds' former trainer, Greg Anderson, to the stand, even though Anderson has repeatedly refused to testify.

The federal lawyers, repeating language from earlier filings, said that if Anderson refuses to comply, they will ask Illston to "immediately conduct contempt proceedings and imprison Anderson."

Anderson told Illston last year that he will continue to refuse, even if she finds him in contempt of court and jails him for the duration of the trial.

Prosecutors want Anderson to link three positive steroids tests conducted in 2000 and 2001 to Bonds. They allege he took urine samples from Bonds to the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, or BALCO, in Burlingame to send to an outside laboratory for testing.

In the disputed evidence ruling last year, Illston said prosecutors can't use those tests unless Anderson personally authenticates the samples. A federal appeals court upheld that ruling in June, clearing the way for the setting of the new trial date.

The prosecution's list also included about two dozen other previously identified witnesses slated to provide other evidence.

A former girlfriend, Kimberly Bell, is again listed to testify about changes she allegedly observed in Bonds' body beginning in 2000. A former personal assistant, Kathy Hoskins, will testify she saw Anderson give Bonds an injection, prosecutors said.

A former Giants teammate, Bobby Estalella, is again slated to testify that Bonds told him he used performance-enhancing drugs.

Defense attorneys submitted a short witness list that includes two other trainers who worked with Bonds and one doctor who is an expert on the effects of steroids and human growth hormone.

As in previous filings, the defense attorneys reserved the right to identify additional witnesses later who might be used to discredit prosecution witnesses.

Bonds' attorneys wrote that if they identify those witnesses now, the list would unfairly "provide the government with insight into the defense assessment of weaknesses in the government's case."

Bonds faces a total of 10 counts of false statements and one count of obstruction of justice in testimony on Dec. 4, 2003, before a federal grand jury investigating BALCO. The alleged lies include statements that he never knowingly took steroids and never received testosterone or human growth hormone from Anderson.

Bonds played for the Giants from 1993 to 2007 and set the Major League single-season record for home runs with 73 in 2001. He set the career home run record in 2007 with a total of 762.

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