Government decides to file superseding indictment vs. Bonds

3/20/2008 - MLB Barry Bonds

SAN FRANCISCO -- Federal prosecutors
said on Wednesday they would seek a new indictment against U.S.
baseball home run king Barry Bonds after previous perjury
charges were recently thrown out.

Last month, a federal judge ruled the U.S. government
did not properly structure its charges that the seven-time
National League Most Valuable Player lied to a federal grand
jury about past steroid use.

"Pursuant to the Court's written order of March 4, 2008, we
write to inform the Court and counsel that the government
intends to seek a superseding indictment in this case," U.S.
Attorney Joseph Russoniello wrote in a legal filing.

In a superseding indictment, the government can add more counts to its indictment against Bonds, but he won't necessarly face additional charges that weren't listed in the original indictment.

After years investigating performance-enhancing drug use in professional sports,
prosecutors suffered a setback on Feb. 29 when federal Judge
Susan Illston ruled the government made overly broad arguments
in its four perjury counts.

The judge agreed with Bonds' lawyers that the charges were
duplicitous, meaning they improperly included two or more
offenses in a single count. The government could tailor new
charges more narrowly to avoid that issue in the future.

The government maintains Bonds lied in 2003 when he told a
federal grand jury investigating the BALCO nutrition lab he had
never knowingly used performance-enhancing drugs. Last
December, the former San Francisco Giant pleaded not guilty.

Lawyers are due back in court on Friday to discuss the next
steps in the case.

Information from ESPN investigative reporter T.J. Quinn and Reuters is included in this report