Top basketball player Brittney Griner received a nine-year prison sentence in Russia on Thursday. The American was found guilty of drug possession and smuggling by a court just outside Moscow. She was also fined 1 million rubles (about 16,000 euros).
brittany griner gets prison sentence of nine years in Russia
The 31-year-old Griner was arrested in February at the airport of Moscow, because she had cannabis oil in fillings for an e-cigarette with her. She uses the oil in the United States for medicinal reasons, but in Russia this liquid is banned. Since then, the basketball star has been in custody in Russia.
Earlier in the day, the prosecutor had demanded a prison sentence of 9.5 years against brittney, who, according to him, had deliberately taken the cannabis oil. Her lawyer had asked for an acquittal. Griner herself said she was wrong.
Griner denies that she knowingly broke the law. “It was a mistake of mine, but I didn’t plan this crime. I never wanted to harm anyone or break the law. I hope you don’t end my life here with a condemnation.”
“If the court still deems it necessary to punish brittney G, then it must be the mildest sentence,” her lawyer said in his closing argument. In court, Griner apologized to her teammates, parents, siblings and partner.
Griner is one of the best basketball players in the world
brittney flew to Moscow at the beginning of this year, because she was going to play for the Russian team UMMC Yekaterinburg in between the American basketball seasons.
is brittany griner transgender = No
She is one of the best basketball players in the world. The American won gold twice at the Olympics and is a major player in the WNBA for Phoenix Mercury.
Because of the conviction, there is a chance that brittney will become part of a prisoner exchange between the US and Russia. Griner and ex-marine Paul Whelan could then be exchanged for arms dealer Viktor Bout, who is stuck in the US.
The basketball star hopes that all politics surrounding the case will remain “far out of court.” “Everyone is talking about politics, but I hope that doesn’t play a role in this case.”
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