Barry Bonds Demands to Know Whether U.S. Will Retry Him on Perjury Counts

Barry Bonds, the Major League Baseball player convicted in April of obstructing justice in a U.S. steroids probe, said he expects to learn today whether the government intends to retry him on perjury charges.

Federal prosecutors haven’t said whether they will proceed with a new trial against Bonds, who broke Hank Aaron’s record of 755 career home runs in August 2007. Lawyers for Bonds said in a court filing yesterday that, under federal law, his trial must start in less a month if the government intends to retry him.

The former San Francisco Giants outfielder was convicted of obstruction for giving evasive answers about whether his trainer ever gave him anything requiring a syringe injection. A federal jury in San Francisco couldn’t reach a unanimous decision on charges that he lied about knowingly taking steroids, using human growth hormone and receiving injections from his trainer. A mistrial was declared on those charges.

“Mr. Bonds is entitled to be informed at tomorrow’s status conference whether the government intends to retry him on the mistried counts,” lawyers for Bonds wrote in yesterday’s filing. Under federal law, the government must retry Bonds on the perjury charges within 70 days of the April 13 mistrial date, according to the filing.

Bonds, 46, was indicted in November 2007. He was the first Major League Baseball player to be charged in a years-long federal probe of steroid use in professional sports. The maximum sentence for obstruction of justice is 10 years in prison.

Bonds asked U.S. District Judge Susan Illston to throw out his conviction or give him a new trial, according to a June 15 court filing. A hearing on that request is scheduled for July 1.

The case is U.S. v. Bonds, 07-00732, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

To contact the reporters on this story: Joel Rosenblatt in San Francisco at jrosenblatt@bloomberg.net; Karen Gullo in San Francisco at kgullo@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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