Russian court gives Brittney Griner nine years on drugs charges

by | Aug 4, 2022 | World

BREAKINGBREAKING, The WNBA star was arrested at a Moscow airport in February with vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her luggage.A Russian court has found US basketball star Brittney Griner guilty of drug smuggling, and sentenced her to nine years in prison in a case that has reached the highest levels of United States-Russia diplomacy.
The court “found the defendant guilty” of smuggling and possessing “a significant amount of narcotics”, judge Anna Sotnikova told a court in the town of Khimki just outside Moscow.
The court also fined her one million rubles ($16,300).
US President Joe Biden was quick to condemn the verdict, calling it “unacceptable” and renewing his calls for the player’s release.
“My administration will continue to work tirelessly and pursue every possible avenue to bring Brittney and Paul Whelan home safely as soon as possible,” he said, referring to another American imprisoned in Russia on an espionage conviction.
Sotnikova had said on Thursday that Griner committed the crime “deliberately”. But Griner had testified during the trial it was a mistake.
Since her arrest, Griner’s relatives, teammates and supporters have been calling on the US government to put its full weight behind the case to push for her release.
Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and a Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) star, was arrested at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport on February 17 when she entered the country with vape canisters containing cannabis oil.
She called it an “honest mistake” while speaking in the courtroom Thursday before sentencing.
“I never meant to hurt anybody, I never meant to put in jeopardy the Russian population, I never intended to break Russian law,” Griner said …

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