Evidence against Bonds to be unveiled

Published 3:37 am Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A federal judge plans to unseal hundreds of pages of court documents at the heart of the government’s case against home run king Barry Bonds, who’s accused of lying to a grand jury about using performance-enhancing drugs.

Among the documents to be released Wednesday are a transcript of a recorded conversation between Bonds’ personal trainer Greg Anderson and Bonds’ former business partner Steve Hoskins, as well as positive drug test results that prosecutors say belong to Bonds.

One is a urine sample submitted by Bonds during baseball’s anonymous survey testing program in 2003, according to a report on The New York Times’ Web site. Bonds’ sample did not test positive under MLB’s program but was retested by investigators after it was seized in a 2004 raid, unidentified sources told the newspaper.

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When Bonds’ attorneys sought to exclude the test results, they filed the details of their argument under seal. They argued that making details of the test results public would harm Bonds’ chances of getting a fair trial.

Initially, the judge ordered those documents to remain sealed. She changed her mind Monday after media organizations protested. On Tuesday, Illston said Tuesday the documents’ release will not deprive Bonds of a fair trial.

Lead prosecutor Matt Parrella declined comment. Bonds’ lead attorney Allen Ruby said he would not fight the judge’s unsealing order.

The seven-time NL MVP is expected to plead not guilty on Thursday to a grand jury’s third indictment, which charged Bonds with lying and obstruction of justice.

On the same day, U.S. District Judge Susan Illston will consider Bonds’ lawyers’ motion to exclude certain government evidence from his trial, which is scheduled to begin March 2.

Bonds has twice before pleaded not guilty, the first time in November 2007 when prosecutors unsealed an indictment charging him with perjury and obstruction of justice charges. A judge has ordered prosecutors to revise the indictment twice to repair legal technicalities.

Bonds told a grand jury in December 2003 that he took ‘‘the clear’’ and ‘‘the cream,’’ provided by his personal trainer, Greg Anderson. But Bonds testified that he did not know he was taking performance-enhancing drugs.

He also has denied knowingly taking other steroids and human growth hormone. Prosecutors argue they will prove through positive test results and other evidence that Bonds lied.