WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former Major League Baseball player David Segui may be called to testify in the perjury trial of ex-pitching ace Roger Clemens, the judge in the case ruled on Thursday.
According to prosecutors Segui has been reluctant to travel to Washington for the trial without knowing he will definitely testify.
Federal prosecutors had filed a motion to bring Segui as a witness in order to question him about a conversation between Segui and Clemens’ former personal trainer Brian McNamee, who has said he injected Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone.
McNamee allegedly told Segui in 2001 about having saved “darts,” slang for needles, used to inject players with steroids or human growth hormone, according to a motion filed by Clemens’ lawyer against the government’s proposal.
Anthony Corso, described as a friend and a client of McNamee’s in Manhattan, will also be allowed to be called by the government, U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton ruled.
Between 2002 and 2004, McNamee allegedly told Corso that Clemens used human growth hormone “regularly” and that McNamee had saved evidence from 2001, according to the defense motion.
Both testimonies would bolster McNamee’s claims that he injected Clemens with anabolic steroids and human growth hormone between 1998 and 2001. As the only person with first-hand knowledge of whether Clemens used the drugs, his testimony is the core of the government’s case against the former baseball great.
Clemens’ attorneys have worked to paint McNamee as a liar who has obtained immunity from prosecution in exchange for his testimony. Segui and Corso could help shore up the credibility of their star witness who has said he lied to officials about his knowledge of the case.
McNamee testified last week that he kept quiet on stashed medical waste from a 2001 injection even though federal agents and an independent commission headed by former Senator George Mitchell had asked him if he had evidence of Clemens’ alleged drug use.
In other testimony, a forensic expert with the FBI’s chemistry unit said she had found evidence of different steroids on medical waste that McNamee had turned over to authorities.
“I can only tell you the chemicals that were present on those items,” Pamela Reynolds said.
McNamee had turned in waste from an alleged injection of anabolic steroids he gave to Clemens in August 2001 to federal agents in January 2008 as evidence. The waste included needles, gauze, a broken steroid ampoule and human growth hormone stuffed into a Miller Lite.
Clemens’ defense lawyer countered on Thursday that someone may have dripped steroids over the waste and that chemicals in the batch of evidence could have mixed together, making it hard to tell whether steroids were on items connected to Clemens. McNamee admitted last week that some of the medical waste was from other players.
Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner as best pitcher, has repeatedly denied taking performance-enhancing drugs or lying to lawmakers, saying that McNamee had injected him with shots of vitamin B12 and the anesthetic lidocaine instead.
Clemens, 49, is being tried for a second time on federal charges of lying in 2008 to the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which was investigating drug use in Major League Baseball. His first trial ended in a mistrial last year.
The trial is scheduled to run until June 8.
Reporting by Lily Kuo; Editing by Anthony Boadle