Judge orders Chronicle reporters to jail

Friday, September 22, 2006

SAN FRANCISCO -- Two San Francisco Chronicle reporters were ordered jailed Thursday for a maximum of 18 months, pending an appeal, for refusing to testify about who leaked them secret grand jury testimony from Barry Bonds and other elite athletes.

Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada published a series of articles and a book based partly on the leaked transcripts of the testimony of Bonds, Jason Giambi and others before a grand jury investigating the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative.

Federal prosecutors asked U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White to send the reporters to prison for the full term of the grand jury investigating the leak, or until they agree to testify. Both sides agreed to stay the ruling pending an appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

"The court is hopeful that perhaps they'll reconsider their position when faced with the reality of incarceration," White said Thursday.

-- The Associated Press

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