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Judge delays perjury trial of baseball's Roger Clemens

By Paul Courson, CNN
A judge has delayed the perjury trial of Roger Clemens, seen testifying on Capitol Hill in 2008, until next year.
A judge has delayed the perjury trial of Roger Clemens, seen testifying on Capitol Hill in 2008, until next year.
  • Judge grants delays to give the defense more time
  • Clemens attorneys said they need to review prosecution case
  • Prosecutors say 54,000 pages of documents are part of their case

Washington (CNN) -- A federal judge has delayed until next July the perjury trial of baseball great Roger Clemens after defense lawyers Wednesday asked for more time to review the prosecution's evidence in the steroids case.

Clemens, who in August entered a plea of not guilty to charges that he lied to Congress about illicit use of performance-enhancing drugs, did not speak during a status hearing at U.S. District Court.

Defense attorney Rusty Hardin told Judge Reggie Walton he needs more time to review materials the government has developed during an investigation spanning more than two years. Prosecutors say they've shared the bulk of their case as required, including some 54,000 pages of documents.

Walton agreed the defense should have additional time to prepare.

Jury selection, initially set for next April, is now scheduled to begin July 6.

The six-count indictment accuses Clemens of perjury, obstruction of Congress and making false statements during testimony in February 2008 that he never used human growth hormone or steroids.

During that Capitol Hill appearance, Clemens was seated at the same witness table as Brian McNamee, his former trainer. McNamee told lawmakers he saved medical bandages and syringes to back his claim Clemens injected banned substances.

Defense attorneys hope to find an expert witness to dispute what the prosecution calls "scientific evidence" it plans to use at trial against Clemens.

Also at issue is whether Clemens will be able to use documents and testimony provided to congressional investigators and the Mitchell Commission, a panel inside baseball that cited Clemens and other players in its probe of performance-enhancing drugs.

Hardin indicated he would ask the judge to subpoena the materials if negotiations with the two sources fail. The judge said he would consider subpoena requests, while predicting motions to quash them, and an appeal of any rulings he makes to compel the material.

"I don't want to move the date of the trial," Walton said, hoping to "try to bring to a head the Mitchell and congressional information" by mid-March. A status hearing is set for March 14.

Wednesday the prosecutors predicted their case would take about four weeks to present to the jury, and the defense indicated they'd need about two weeks to attempt to refute the government's case.