Is Barry Bonds Facing Indictment?

Are the Feds ever going to wrap up their criminal investigation of San Francisco Giants star Barry Bonds? Lawyers close to the investigation say there is little doubt the Bonds investigation, which has been underway for years, is still very much alive. According to news reports, a federal grand jury investigating the case recently had its term extended. Greg Anderson, Bonds's close friend and former personal trainer, remains jailed for contempt of court for refusing to testify before the grand jury, said his lawyer, Mark Geragos. (Geragos told NEWSWEEK that Anderson will "never" testify against Bonds.) Another lawyer familiar with the investigation, anonymous when discussing sensitive matters, said prosecutors on the case have been shuttling in and out of the grand-jury room. But a law-enforcement official close to the case, who also requested anonymity, said that a Bonds indictment does not appear imminent—almost certainly not before Bonds has time to match and surpass Hank Aaron's home-run record.

Even some of Bonds's foes are wondering whether the Feds' pursuit of Bonds has become obsessive. Bonds's lawyer believes that one of the government's key witnesses is Steve Hoskins, a childhood friend and former business partner of Bonds's who became estranged after Bonds went to the Feds and accused him of stealing. Michael Cardoza, Hoskins's lawyer, told NEWSWEEK he couldn't talk about what Hoskins might have told the government. He said Hoskins was a "proven truth teller" who had been "very concerned about Barry's health" but had never abused Bonds's trust. But Hoskins now wishes the Feds would either put up or shut up, Cardoza said: "If you've got him, get him. If not, move on to the next case." Bonds's lawyer, Michael Rains, said that the government's main potential witnesses against Bonds, Hoskins and a former Bonds girlfriend, would have serious credibility problems if ever called to give evidence in court. "The government has a lot of problems with anyone who testifies against Barry," Rains said. "It's time they leave the guy alone." A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in San Francisco declined to comment on any aspect of the investigation.