Barry Bonds' trainer must go back to federal prison for refusing to
testify to a grand jury that is conducting a perjury investigation of the
Giants' slugger, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday.
The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco upheld a judge's
finding of contempt of court against Greg Anderson and rejected his claim that
the grand jury proceedings had been tainted by an allegedly illegal tape
Anderson's lawyer, Mark Geragos, said he may ask the full appeals court or
a Supreme Court justice to intervene. Without a stay, Anderson will have to
return Monday to the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin, where he was
held for more than a month before being released Oct. 5 while his appeal was
He could be imprisoned until February 2008 unless he agrees to testify
against Bonds, his longtime friend.
Anderson, 40, is one of five men who pleaded guilty to charges of
distributing illegal performance-enhancing drugs supplied by the Bay Area
Laboratory Co-Operative, or BALCO. After serving a three-month prison sentence
last year, he was called before a new grand jury that is investigating whether
Bonds lied in 2003 when he testified that he had never knowingly used steroids.
Anderson refused to answer questions, saying he had been assured when he
pleaded guilty that he would not have to testify for the government. U.S.
District Judge William Alsup found no evidence of such a promise and held him
He was released after 15 days when the grand jury term expired in July,
but then was summoned before a new grand jury, again declined to testify, and
was returned to prison on Aug. 28.
Anderson was freed last month while the appeals court examined his claim
that the grand jury questions were based on a tape of one of Anderson's
conversations in 2003 that was secretly recorded by an unidentified person and
later obtained by the government.
The Chronicle has reported that the tape includes a statement by Anderson
that he had supplied undetectable drugs to Bonds. Alsup, however, said at a
hearing last month that the tape was worthless as evidence and that prosecutors
had many other potential sources for the questions they asked Anderson before
the grand jury.
In Thursday's ruling, the three-judge appeals court panel said that
neither the recording nor a transcript was provided to the current grand jury.
Geragos, Anderson's lawyer, said he is certain that the tape was played to
the previous grand jury, whose questions resulted in the first contempt order.
He expressed frustration that the ruling was based on evidence that he has
never seen because federal prosecutors were allowed to file it under seal.
"You should be able to see whatever the government is saying before they
throw you in jail," Geragos said.
E-mail Bob Egelko at email@example.com.