Appeal to hold up Bonds trial
SAN FRANCISCO -- The perjury trial of Barry Bonds has been delayed at least through July and likely beyond, as an appeal filed by prosecutors over key evidence for the trial winds through the legal system.
Federal court officials on Monday set a schedule for prosecutors and Bonds' lawyers to submit legal written arguments to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals debating the admissibility of three positive drug tests, so-called doping calendars and other evidence allegedly linking Bonds to steroids use.
Jury selection for Bonds' trial had been scheduled to start Monday, but was delayed last week after federal prosecutors announced they would appeal U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston's ruling barring them from showing that evidence to a jury.
Bonds has pleaded not guilty to lying to a grand jury in 2003 when he testified that he never knowingly used performance-enhancing drugs. The home run king faces 10 counts of making false statements to a grand jury and one count of obstruction of justice.
Prosecutors are to file their opening brief on June 1, the defense's response is due July 1 and prosecutors can submit a rebuttal by July 15. The appeals court could then decide the issue solely on the written materials or put the item on its next available court calendar for oral arguments.
The deadlines set could be extended by either side with requests for more time to complete their written arguments.
The appeals court doesn't have a deadline to decide the case after it has considered all the arguments.
Once a three-judge panel decides the issue, the losing side can appeal that ruling to a 15-judge panel of the appeals court or the U.S. Supreme Court. When the case is returned to the trial court, Illston will then schedule a new trial.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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