Bonds pleads not guilty to charges
SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 7, 2007 (KGO) (KGO) -- Bonds pled not guilty in a San Francisco courtroom Friday morning. His attorney declared bonds innocent and says he will ask that the charges be thrown out because of what he calls defects in the indictment. Bonds faces four counts of perjury and one of obstructing justice -- allegations that he lied to a grand jury about using illegal steroids.
On his Web site, Bonds issued a statement saying, "I know when all of this is over, I will be vindicated because I am innocent."
Barry Bonds left San Francisco's federal courthouse smiling. He has reason to -- he's got a dream defense team to fight for him.
"Barry Bonds is innocent," says lead attorney, Allen Ruby.
Ruby successfully defended former San Jose Mayor Ron Gonzales against corruption charges and the other five lawyers are also stars in their own right.
"That is probably the most powerful defense team put together since the O.J. Simpson trial," says ABC7 legal analyst, Dean Johnson.
In fact, East Bay attorney, Cristina Arguedas, was associated with the Simpson trial. His defense team hired her to do a mock cross-examination of Simpson. The result -- his attorneys decided not to put him on the stand.
Dennis Riordan is considered by many as the premier appellate attorney in the state. His presence suggests the defense is planning ahead for a possible appeal.
"You always think ahead, this is a strategic chess game," says Johnson.
Mike Rains has been Bonds vocal and vigorous defender for the past few years during the ongoing federal investigation.
It's been reported that Bonds was asking for a discounted rate from defense attorneys. ABC7 News legal consultant, Dean Johnson thinks he probably didn't get one with this team.
"These people probably charge, each one of them, upwards of a thousand dollars an hour. So we had an hour-long court appearance, Barry just dropped $6,000 dollars on his first appearance," says Johnson.
The case against Bonds is only the latest in a series of cases that began with the raid of Victor Conte's BALCO Labs four years ago. He was convicted of distributing illegal steroids, but to this day insists he never gave them to Bonds.
"I have no knowledge of Barry Bonds using performance enhancing drugs. I've said that since the very beginning. I've been asked that very same question over and over and over and I don't have any knowledge of that," says Conte.
Prosecutors told the judge today that they believe there could be conflicts of interest among the Bonds defense team. It's unclear what those might be, but speculation is one or more of them have represented or are representing other athletes who may be called to testify against Bonds. We will know more when the attorneys are back in court in February.
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