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Barry Bonds Seeks to Block Giambi, Santiago From Testifying

Barry Bonds, Major League Baseball’s homerun record holder charged with lying to a grand jury about taking steroids, is seeking to stop the government from calling Benito Santiago and Jason Giambi as trial witnesses.

Lawyers for the former San Francisco Giants outfielder seek to bar testimony by ex-teammate Santiago and former Oakland Athletics player Giambi. Drug testing and laboratory documents, calendars and other paperwork from Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative are also inadmissible at Bonds’s perjury trial under a 2009 judge’s order that was upheld by an appeals court in June, the lawyers said in a court filing yesterday.

Bonds, who broke Hank Aaron’s record of 755 career home runs in August 2007, is scheduled to go on trial March 21 on charges of obstruction of justice and of lying to a federal grand jury in 2003 when he said he never knowingly took steroids.

In February 2009, U.S. District Judge Susan Illston in San Francisco barred drug tests that prosecutors said were linked to Bonds from being shown to jurors at trial because they were hearsay, Bonds’s lawyers said. Prosecution filings since then indicate the government plans to introduce “all the same evidence that was excluded by this court’s order,” according to yesterday’s filing.

Giambi and Santiago would testify about receiving performance-enhancing drugs from Bonds’s former trainer and about being tested for steroids, lawyers for Bonds said in their filing. That testimony is “irrelevant” in light of Illston’s 2009 order, the lawyers said.

Jack Gillund, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in San Francisco, didn’t immediately return a voice-mail message seeking comment yesterday.

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

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