Brittney Griner’s appeal dismissed by Russian court


A Russian court on Tuesday rejected an appeal by American basketball star Brittney Griner against her sentence of more than nine years in prison on drug charges.

The basketball star has been imprisoned since February. 17 people were arrested after she was accused of entering Russia with an e-cigarette pod containing cannabis oil, This is illegal in Russia. It’s part of the treatment of chronic pain and other ailments, her attorney said.

The U.S. government characterized her arrest as a “wrongful detention.”

Brittney Griner jailed at 32 as ‘#WeAreBG’ reminds her of her plight

On Tuesday, Griner appeared in court via video link from a detention facility outside Moscow. Her lawyers asked for a suspended sentence, while Russian prosecutors insisted 9.5 years, slightly less than the maximum of 10 years, was fair. Greener’s lawyer had earlier said she was not expecting a “miracle.”

“We are very disappointed,” Griner’s attorneys, Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov, said in a statement. “We still believe the punishment is excessive and contradicts existing court practice.”

Griner spoke in court through an interpreter. “I want to apologize for this mistake,” she said. “I’m not going to do this, but I understand the charges brought against me,” she said, adding that she hoped her guilty plea would be taken into account.

grinner’s attorney Said they would discuss the possibility of further appeals with clients and that they intended to make use of “all available legal tools”. Once the appeal process is over, she will be transferred to exile.

Brittney Griner might go to a Russian penal colony. Here’s what you need to know.

Russia has one of the highest incarceration rates in Europe. Most of its prison facilities are known as penal colonies, in which prisoners must perform labor. Investigations by Russian media have uncovered mistreatment of prisoners at these facilities.

The White House condemned the court’s ruling on Tuesday. “We are aware of the news from Russia that Britney Greenner will continue to be held in an unreliable manner after having to undergo another sham judicial proceeding today,” National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said in a statement. Wrongful detention under circumstances tolerated.” “President Biden has been very clear that Britney should be released immediately.”

One way to resolve her situation — and that of former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan, also in Russia — could be a prisoner swap. Her lawyer said Griner’s biggest fear was that she would not be exchanged and would have to serve a full sentence in Russia.

“In recent weeks, the Biden-Harris administration has continued to engage with Russia through all available channels and has made every effort to bring Britney home and to support and advocate for other Americans detained in Russia, including those who are unlawfully detained. Paul Whelan,” Sullivan said.

Russia desperately wants Victor Bout back. The question is: why?

In August, Russia admitted for the first time that it was in talks to free Griner and Whelan, but did not confirm media reports suggesting a possible exchange for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, who is serving a 25-year prison sentence in the United States.

Greener, a 6-foot-9 center for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury team and a two-time Olympic gold medalist, was detained in February. 17 tried to enter Russia at Sheremetyevo International Airport near Moscow, where she played during the WNBA offseason. She turned 32 in prison a week ago, and family and friends used to call for her release and safe return to the United States.

Brittney Griner jailed at 32 as ‘#WeAreBG’ reminds her of her plight

Tuesday’s ruling follows a Moscow court’s decision on Monday to reject an appeal by Russian opposition politician Vladimir Kara-Murza, who is seeking to overturn approval of his pretrial detention. He has been accused of spreading false information after criticizing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Griner’s wife, Cherelle, said in an Oct. 10 interview with CBS Mornings co-host Gayle King. 6 said she had spoken to the basketball star on the phone twice since she was in jail, and that the second call was “disturbing” and left her in tears for days.

“It was the most disturbing call I’ve ever had,” Cherelle Griner said. “You can hear she’s not well.”

Annabelle Timsit contributed to this report.

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