Lawyers seek to keep players from Bonds' trial

December 19, 2010, 4:58 am
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Dec. 19, 2010GIANTS PAGE GIANTS VIDEO

SANFRANCISCO (AP) Lawyers for Barry Bonds want to bar slugger Jason Giambiand other former pro athletes from testifying at his perjury trialscheduled to begin March 21.
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Bonds was charged with 11 counts ofperjury and obstruction after telling a federal grand jury that henever knowingly took performance-enhancing drugs. Baseball's careerhome run leader has pleaded not guilty.Bonds' lawyers filed papers infederal court late Friday asking U.S. District Court Judge SusanIllston to prohibit the athletes' testimony and other key evidence theysay is tied to Bonds' personal trainer, Greg Anderson.Illston already has ruled off-limitsany evidence connected to Anderson because of his refusal to testify.The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed that ruling.The former players with connectionsto Anderson they are hoping to exclude from the trial are MarvinBenard, Jeremy Giambi, Armando Rios, Benito Santiago, Randy Velarde andretired football player Larry Izzo.
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In addition, the Bonds' legal teamwants to know why the fraud investigation of the player's formerbusiness partner and key prosecution witness, Stevie Hoskins, wasdropped. In separate court papers filed Friday, Bonds' lawyers askedthe judge to order prosecutors to tell them why Hoskins wasn't chargedin an investigation after Bonds complained to the FBI on July 24, 2003,that Hoskins was allegedly selling Bonds-related memorabilia withoutthe player's knowledge.Five months later, Bonds testified in front of a federal grand jury about performance-enhancing drugs.Hoskins is a key prosecution witnessbecause he recorded a conversation he had with Anderson whereprosecutors allege they are discussing Bonds' steroids use.On Nov. 5, 2005, prosecutors informedHoskins they were dropping the investigation after "an evaluation ofthe evidence" related to Hoskins' business dealings with Bonds. Theletter was written by a prosecutor in the Seattle U.S. Attorney'soffice, which handled the case because of a conflict the San Franciscooffice had because of the steroids investigation.Bonds attorneys want to know if Hoskins was shown leniency in exchange for his testimony against Bonds.A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.