A Russian court has set October 25 as the appeal date for WNBA star Britney Griner, who was sentenced to nine years for drug possession. Photo credit: Yuri Kochetkov/EPA-EFE
October 3 (UPI) — US basketball star Britney Griner’s appeal against her nine-year prison sentence for drug possession in Russia is scheduled for October 25.
Greiner, 31, imprisoned in a Russian prison It has been almost eight months since he was arrested at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport in February for carrying two e-cigarette cartridges containing cannabis oil in his luggage. I was in Russia to play.
The Phoenix Mercury All-Star center and two-time Olympic gold medalist pleaded guilty to drug charges in July, seeking leniency from the courts. In Russia, criminal trials take place in court even if the defendant pleads guilty. A Russian court has ruled that Griner deliberately tried to smuggle cannabis oil into the country even though he had less than two grams of cannabis oil in his bag.
Griner’s nine-year sentence was denounced as “overkill” by her lawyers and the Russian courts for “total disregard for all evidence”. Marijuana is illegal in Russia, but her lawyers argued that Griner had a valid prescription for pain management and that she did not knowingly fill the cartridges.
“I made an honest mistake. I hope your ruling doesn’t end my life here,” Griner said in a statement to the court in August before her verdict was read. Stated.
Experts believe Griner’s appeal is a necessary step towards a possible prisoner exchange between the Russian and U.S. governments. There are reports that Griner and Paul Whelan, a possible American imprisoned in Russia on espionage charges, could be traded for a Russian arms dealer. Victor BoutNicknamed the “Merchant of Death,” he is currently serving a 25-year sentence in the United States.
U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Brinken In July, he said there had been “considerable proposals” for Mr Griner’s release, and that he had put pressure on Russia’s foreign minister as well. Sergei Lavrov Free Whelan.
last month, president Joe Biden met separately with family At the White House, Biden reiterated Griner and Whelan’s “continued commitment to work through all available means to bring Britney and Paul safely home.”
https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2022/10/03/basketball-Brittney-Griner-russia-appeal-trial-scheduled/6921664835331/ Britney Griner’s appeal hearing in Russia scheduled for October 25