SAN FRANCISCO -- With Barry Bonds still firmly in the sights of a federal steroid investigation, prosecutors will impanel a new grand jury to take up where an outgoing one left off yesterday and consider perjury and tax evasion charges against the star slugger.
``We are not finished," US Attorney Kevin Ryan said. ``We have postponed the decision [to indict] for another day in light of some recent developments."
Word that an indictment wasn't imminent came as one grand jury's term expired, and the lawyer for Bonds's personal trainer, Greg Anderson, said his client already had been subpoenaed to testify next Thursday before the new grand jury.
The new panel will further investigate whether Bonds lied under oath when he said he never knowingly took performance-enhancing drugs, attorney Mark Geragos said.
Geragos said Anderson will again refuse to testify.
``They don't even have enough to indict a ham sandwich, much less Barry Bonds," said the slugger's lawyer, Michael Rains. But he seemed to back away slightly from Bonds's earlier statements that he didn't know the substances given to him by Anderson were steroids.
``He was suspicious in light of what he had read as to whether those were steroids or not," Rains told reporters outside the federal courthouse here.
Bonds arrived at AT&T Park with his 16-year-old batboy son. As reporters moved toward his locker, team spokesman Blake Rhodes said Bonds would have no comment.
Major League Baseball declined to comment.
Anderson, a key witness, was freed at midday from the federal prison where he was sent more than two weeks ago for refusing to testify against his childhood friend.
``They can subpoena him every day for the rest of this year, and it doesn't matter," Geragos said. ``He's not going to talk."
The judge who ordered Anderson to prison July 5 said he would be held until he agreed to testify against Bonds or the grand jury's term expired.
Joseph Russienello, the US Attorney in San Francisco from 1982 to 1990, said handing the case off to a new grand jury means the federal government can lock Anderson up for the length of the new grand jury's term, which could extend beyond a year. The threat of a lengthy jail term can convince even the most intransigent witnesses to cave.
``Twelve months usually has a way of getting people sensitized to giving truthful testimony," Russienello said.
Speculation has been mounting for weeks that Bonds would be indicted yesterday with the grand jury expiring.