Brittney Griner convicted by Russian judge, sentenced to 9 years

A judge in Russia convicted American basketball star Brittney Griner of drug possession and smuggling on Thursday and sentenced her to nine years in prison.

Judge Anna Sotnikova said Griner’s term since his arrest in February would count towards sentencing.

Griner reacted to that sentence with a hint of emotion. He listened to the verdict from the defendant’s cage, a blank look on his face.

Summarizing the evidence and presenting his findings on Thursday, the judge said the 31-year-old Griner had illegally brought drugs into Russia.

Before the unusually swift verdict was announced, Griner filed a final appeal to the court. He said he had no intention of breaking the law by bringing vape cartridges with cannabis oil into the country when he flew to Moscow in February to play basketball in the city of Yekaterinburg.

Attention now turns to the possible high-risk prisoner swap proposed by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Under the proposed deal, Griner and Paul Whelan, an American imprisoned in Russia on espionage charges, would be released.

Russian officials remain poker-faced about a possible deal and irritated by US statements on the case, saying a possible deal should be discussed through “tacit diplomacy without the release of speculative information.”

US President Joe Biden issued a statement about the ruling calling Griner “wrongly detained”, a term that Russian officials have opposed.

“Today, American citizen Brittney Griner received a prison sentence that is yet another reminder of what the world already knows: Russia wrongfully detained Brittney. That is unacceptable, and I ask Russia to release her immediately so that she can be with his wife, his lover. , friends and teammates,” Biden said.

Reported by the Associated Press.

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Brittney Griner convicted by Russian judge, sentenced to 9 years

Source link Brittney Griner convicted by Russian judge, sentenced to 9 years

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