Sunday, January 16, 2011

Barry Bonds files court papers, wants reason former business partner Steve Hoskins wasn't prosecuted

Barry Bonds' attorneys want to know why federal authorities did not prosecute his former business partner - likely a key government witness when the slugger goes to trial on perjury charges in March - after Bonds accused the man of stealing money and sports memorabilia from him in 2003.

In court papers filed by Bonds' defense team late Friday, the home run king's attorneys say they want any of the investigative reports and other documents that led to the government's decision not to further investigate Bonds' claims or prosecute his former partner and longtime friend, Steve Hoskins. The government's witness list says Hoskins will testify that Bonds admitted to him that he had used steroids.

"Hoskins is a key witness because this testimony, if believed, would likely be the most damaging evidence that could be admitted against Bonds, therefore any information that intends to impeach Hoskins is not only material, it is critical to the defense," Bonds' lawyers wrote.

Hoskins also secretly taperecorded Bonds' trainer, Greg Anderson, and in that recording Anderson allegedly describes the drug regimen he gave Bonds to beat Major League Baseball's steroid-testing program in 2003.

U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston in San Francisco has already ruled that the jury cannot listen to large portions of the tape. In documents filed last week, Bonds' attorneys asked the judge to exclude the entire recording.

A second document filed by Bonds' attorneys late Friday was not immediately available.

The filing appears to be yet another attempt by Bonds' lawyers to limit the amount of evidence the government can introduce at his trial, scheduled to begin on March 21 in San Francisco.

The defense team has also asked Illston to bar testimony from Bonds' 2003 BALCO grand jury appearance that might alert the jury about doping calendars created by Anderson, who has steadfastly refused to testify against Bonds. A hearing on the evidence is scheduled for Friday.

In a 2006 interview with the Daily News, Hoskins' attorney Michael Cardoza said Bonds confided to Hoskins that he was using steroids.



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