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Webber Faces New Charges

January 18, 2003|From Associated Press

Chris Webber faces additional charges on accusations he lied to a grand jury about his dealings with a Michigan basketball booster.

The new indictment Friday charges the Sacramento King star, his father Mayce Webber Jr. and aunt Charlene Johnson with nine counts, including conspiracy to obstruct justice and perjury.

They are accused of lying to a federal grand jury about their dealings with ex-booster Eddie Martin. Martin says he gave $616,000 to Webber and three other Michigan players when they were amateurs. Martin, who pleaded guilty to illegal gambling, said he gave Webber and his family $280,000.

The player was indicted Sept. 9. He said a few days later he would "fight this case to the end, and I feel that I will be vindicated."

Defense attorney Steven F. Fishman of Detroit said the latest indictment is a recognition that the previous one would have been dismissed. He questioned why the charges weren't included in the original indictment, since the testimony hasn't changed.

"The superseding indictment is nothing more than a transparent and somewhat pathetic attempt by the government to make chicken salad out of chicken droppings," Fishman said.

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The Dallas Mavericks signed 6-foot-7 swingman Antoine Rigaudeau of France from the Italian League.

The five-time French championship MVP will be in uniform Sunday at Seattle. He was averaging 13.9 points in 15 games this season for Virtus Bologna.

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