Barry Bonds' obstruction conviction upheld

Aug. 27, 2011 at 9:59 AM
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SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- A federal judge in San Francisco upheld an obstruction-of-justice conviction for baseball great Barry Bonds.

U.S. District Judge Susan Illston in a 20-page ruling said Bonds "repeatedly provided non-responsive answers" under questioning by a grand jury concerning drug use, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Saturday.

The ruling said the conviction would stand even if Bonds became more forthright and truthful afterward.

There was not enough cause for a new trial on the matter, the judge wrote.

An attorney representing Bonds, Allen Ruby, said, "I haven't read it yet. I won't have anything to say until I've taken a look at it."

Bonds' legal team had argued "unauthorized rambling is not a federal crime" and said the jury took questions and answers out of context when reviewing his 2003 testimony about the use of steroids when he was a star with the San Francisco Giants.

A jury found Bonds' answers to questions about whether he knowingly took steroids or whether anyone besides a doctor had given him injections were evasive.

Some of the controversy includes Bonds' personal trainer, Greg Anderson, who has spent more than a year in jail for refusing to testify in the case.

In the new ruling, "The conviction can be upheld if defendant endeavored to obstruct justice, even if he did not succeed," the judge wrote.

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