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Monday, May 27, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Witness Refuses to Testifiy in Bonds Trial

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - U.S. marshals took personal trainer Greg Anderson into custody Tuesday morning after he was found in civil contempt of court for refusing to testify against his childhood friend and former client, ex-Giant's slugger Barry Bonds.

Anderson arrived in court at 11:15 Tuesday morning with his lawyer Mark Geragos, who told U.S. District Judge Susan Illston that he had no intention of testifying. "I can say unequivocally that clearly he's not going to comply with the order of the compulsion to the extent that it requires any testimony," Geragos said.

Anderson said he understood that such refusal will result in jail time for the duration of the trial, or until he changes his mind, because Illston ordered his testimony weeks ago.

"I'm hopeful you will change your mind. I wish you would change your mind," Illston said. "This is causing us a lot of dislocation that you are not testifying, and it's important you do so, so the whole truth can come out."

Geragos asked Illston to formally rule that Anderson is in contempt so that he can begin appealing the finding in the 9th Circuit. Illston agreed to do so by the end of the day.

The judge declined to grant the request of Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Parrella, one of the lead prosecutors in the Bonds case, to also impose a fine. "I think taking into custody is about as coercive is I'm going to go," Illston said.

"Let everyone know ASAP if you change your mind," she added, as Anderson was led from the courtroom.

Bonds is on trial for three counts of making false statements to a federal grand jury in 2003 about his use of anabolic steroids and human growth hormone, and one count of obstruction of justice.

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