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Roger Clemens ordered to stand trial again

September 2, 2011 |  1:28 pm

Fabforum U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton granted federal prosecutors a new trial for former Major League pitcher Roger Clemens on Friday, setting a start date of April 17.

Clemens is accused of lying to Congress when lawmakers investigated the use of steroids in professional baseball.

The case against Clemens -- involving one count of obstruction of Congress, three counts of making false statements and two counts of perjury -- was declared a mistrial in July after evidence previously ruled inadmissible was shown in court.

The issue that caused the mistrial involved a video clip of a televised congressional hearing from 2008 in which a congressman referenced an affidavit from Laura Pettitte about purported steroid use encountered by her husband, former New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte, Clemens and other players.

Walton ruled in pretrial proceedings that Laura Pettitte's testimony about steroid use was uncorroborated and inadmissible. Most of the extended video had played for the jury, however, before the judge realized it included the prohibited discussion.

Prosecutors subsequently asked for a new trial for Clemens, saying they did not intend to air the clip in question.

“This was a mistake, a regretful mistake," government attorney David Goodhand said Friday, urging Walton to reject a defense motion to dismiss the indictment and prevent a new trial.

Walton blasted prosecutors Friday, declaring, “I would hate to believe they just blatantly disregarded rulings that I made, but it's hard for me to reach any other conclusion.“

Defense attorneys accused prosecutors of showing the clip deliberately, and asked Walton to dismiss the six-count indictment.

“No doubt this was a calculated effort to make an end run around this court's ruling,“ Clemens defense attorney Michael Attanasio said.

“The government's use of this particular exhibit was premeditated,“ the defense team wrote in a critique given to Walton last week, and was “not as innocent as the government suggests."

The charges stem from Clemens' 2008 testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, during which he denied using anabolic steroids.

Clemens has continually denied using performance-enhancing drugs during his professional baseball career.


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--Associated Press

Photo: Roger Clemens outside of court on Friday. Credit: Molly Riley / Reuters.