SAN FRANCISCO -- They aren't through with Barry Bonds, not
The federal grand jury considering possible perjury and
tax-evasion charges against the star slugger expired Thursday
without an indictment. Hours later, Bonds' personal trainer, Greg
Anderson, walked out of a prison where he spent two weeks for
refusing to testify against his childhood friend.
"We are not finished," U.S. Attorney Kevin Ryan said. "We
have postponed the decision [to indict] for another day in light of
some recent developments."
Though prosecutors wouldn't confirm the existence of a new grand
jury, Anderson's lawyer, Mark Geragos, said there was one.
He said his client has been subpoenaed to testify before a new
panel that will take up the question of whether Bonds lied under
oath when he said he never knowingly took performance-enhancing
drugs. Geragos said Anderson won't budge.
"They can subpoena him every day for the rest of this year, and
it doesn't matter," Geragos said. "He's not going to talk."
Bonds arrived at AT&T Park with his 16-year-old batboy son. As
reporters moved toward his locker, team spokesman Blake Rhodes said
Bonds would have no comment.
Bonds hit his 722nd career home run Thursday night against San
Diego, but left the ballpark without speaking to reporters.
Major League Baseball also declined to comment.
Giants owner Peter Magowan said he hoped to see a resolution
"I think all of us would like to see a resolution, I mean
everybody in baseball," Magowan said. "I'm sure the commissioner
would like to see one, I'm sure Barry would like to see one, and
I'm sure the fans would like to see one."
Speculation has been mounting for weeks that Bonds, one of the
biggest names in professional sports, would be indicted Thursday
with the grand jury expiring. His lawyers had said they were
preparing a defense.
But soon after the grand jury reported to the federal courthouse
for the final day of its probe, the U.S. Attorney's office issued a
statement saying it "is not seeking an indictment [Thursday] in
connection with the ongoing steroids-related investigation."
"They don't even have enough to indict a ham sandwich, let
alone Barry Bonds," the slugger's lawyer, Michael Rains, said.
Joseph Russienello, the U.S. Attorney in San Francisco from 1982
to 1990, said handing the case off to a new grand jury means the
federal government can lock up Anderson for the length of the new
grand jury's term, which could extend beyond a year. The threat of
a lengthy jail term can convince even the most intransigent
witnesses to cave.
"It's no longer a two-week vacation," Russienello said.
"Twelve months usually has a way of getting people sensitized to
giving truthful testimony."
Rains said there was "temporary relief in the news we heard
today." But he seemed to back away slightly from Bonds' earlier
statements that he didn't know the substances given to him by
Anderson were steroids.
"He was suspicious in light of what he had read as to whether
those were steroids or not," Rains told reporters outside the
Anderson appears to be the key to whether perjury charges could
stick against Bonds.
"We will continue to move forward actively in this
investigation -- including continuing to seek the truthful testimony
of witnesses whose testimony the grand jury is entitled to hear,"
said Luke Macaulay, a spokesman for Ryan.
Bonds testified in 2003 that he thought substances given to him
by Anderson were arthritis balm and flaxseed oil. Authorities
suspected Bonds was lying and that those items were "the clear"
and "the cream" -- two performance-enhancing drugs tied to the Bay
Area Laboratory Co-Operative, the lab exposed as a steroids
supplier to top athletes in baseball, track and other sports.
Although Bonds was promised immunity as long as he told the
truth, doubts soon surfaced.
• His former girlfriend, Kimberly Bell, testified the slugger
told her he had used steroids, according to Bell's lawyer. Bonds'
attorney accused Bell of trying to extort money from Bonds and
using the platform to promote a book that never was published.
• IRS agent Jeff Novitzky, lead investigator in the steroids
probe, said in court filings that BALCO founder Victor Conte told
him Bonds used "the clear" on a regular basis.
• Federal agents who raided Anderson's house seized doping
calendars, price lists and other documents pointing to Bonds' use
of steroids and human growth hormone. Federal prosecutors say they
need Anderson, in part, to interpret the calendars, which seem to
spell out Bonds' schedule for using performance-enhancing drugs.
Anderson was one of five men convicted in the BALCO scandal. He
was sentenced to three months behind bars and three months of home
confinement in October after pleading guilty to money laundering
and steroid distribution.
He was called to testify before the perjury grand jury and
refused. A federal judge found him in contempt of court and ordered
Geragos protested, saying Anderson was the victim of an illegal
government wiretap and that because Anderson's refusal to cooperate
with government investigators is noted in his earlier plea
agreement, he cannot be forced to testify.
"He took three months in jail rather than cooperate," Geragos
He also says Anderson can't trust that his testimony will be
kept confidential because other BALCO grand jury testimony has been
leaked to the press. Excerpts of testimony by Bonds and other key
players in the case was published by the San Francisco Chronicle.
Geragos said he plans to repeat the same arguments.
Bonds' lawyer said Bonds was elated when he heard of Anderson's
release and asked when the two can start working out together
"He's hoping this is the end of it," Rains said, "but he
doesn't know that, nor do I."
Allegations of steroid use long have plagued Bonds, who passed
Babe Ruth in May to become second only to Hank Aaron on the career
home run list. They intensified in late 2003, when he testified
before the original BALCO grand jury, which took testimony from
about two dozen athletes.
Without Anderson's help, prosecutors still could indict Bonds on
charges alleging he failed to pay taxes on money made through sales
of autographs and other memorabilia. There is also the possibility
Bonds could be indicted on perjury charges without Anderson's
"There comes a point in time ... where everybody needs to move
on," Rains said. "We hope we have arrived at that point today."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.