American basketball star Brittany Griner is dealing with trial in a Russian courtroom


The trial on Friday comes 4 and a half months after US basketball star Brittany Griner was arrested for possessing hashish oil whereas returning to play for the Russian staff, in a case that got here to the fore amid strained relations between Moscow and Washington.

The preliminary session of the check, which was postponed till July 7, supplied the widest public interplay between Griner and journalists because the Phoenix Mercury Middle and the two-time US Olympic gold medalist had been held on the Sheremetyevo Worldwide in Moscow in February. Was arrested on the airport.

Griner, 31, was taken to the courtroom within the capital’s suburb of Khimki, handcuffed, carrying what seems to be a water bottle and {a magazine}, and a Jimi Hendrix T-shirt.

Police have stated she was carrying a vape canister with hashish oil when she was detained on the airport. He might withstand 10 years in jail if convicted of mass transporting medication.

Watch l Brittany Griner’s trial begins:

American basketball star Brittany Griner seems in Russian courtroom

US girls’s basketball star Brittany Griner appeared in a Russian courtroom on Friday to face prices of possession of hashish. If convicted, he might withstand 10 years in jail. The deputy chief of mission of the US embassy backed Griner in courtroom, saying the Russian Federation had wrongly detained a WNBA participant.

The state-owned Tass information company quoted Griner as saying in courtroom that she understood the allegations towards her. When requested by the decide whether or not she want to file a petition, Griner replied, “Right now, no, your honor. At a later date,” in line with MediaZona, an unbiased information web site that runs high-profile courtroom circumstances. Recognized for its complete protection of circumstances. ,

Lower than 1 % of defendants in Russian legal circumstances are acquitted, and in contrast to in US courts, acquittals are reversible.

Two witnesses had been examined by the prosecution: an airport customs officer, who spoke in open courtroom, and an unidentified witness in a closed session. In response to the state information company RIA-Novosti. The listening to was adjourned when two different witnesses didn’t seem.

Alexander Boykov, a lawyer for Griner, stated outdoors the courtroom that he didn’t wish to remark “on the specifics of the case and the allegations” as a result of it was too early to take action.

Boykov additionally informed RIA-Novosti that she was exercising and taking a stroll within the detention space. Russian web site Enterprise FM stated Griner, who at occasions smiled at reporters, stated she wished she might work extra and that she was struggling as a result of she did not perceive Russian. Along with WNBA’s Mercury, she performed for UMMC Ekaterinburg in Russia.

Elizabeth Rudd, the deputy chief of mission on the US embassy in Moscow, was in courtroom and stated she spoke with Griner, who’s “performing as anticipated in these troublesome circumstances.”

“The Russian Federation has wrongly detained Brittany Griner,” Rudd stated. “The observe of wrongful detention, wherever it happens, is unacceptable and threatens the protection of all these touring, working and residing overseas.”

She stated the US authorities, from its highest stage, “is working laborious to carry Britney and all wrongfully detained Americans house safely.”

Griner’s detention was prolonged by one other six months to December 20 at a preliminary in-camera listening to on Monday.

Her case comes at an exceptionally low level in Moscow-Washington relations. Griner was arrested lower than every week earlier than Russia despatched troops to Ukraine, including to already excessive tensions between the 2 nations. The US then imposed sweeping sanctions on Moscow and Russia denounced the US for sending weapons to Ukraine.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied on Friday that politics performed a task in Griner’s detention and prosecution.

“The actual fact is that the well-known athlete was detained for possessing a banned drug containing narcotic substances,” Peskov informed reporters. ” what I’ve stated, it can’t be politically motivated,” he stated.

Griner’s supporters stored a low profile hoping for a sober answer till Could, when the State Division wrongfully detained him and transferred oversight of his case to its particular presidential envoy for hostage circumstances – efficient Because the chief negotiator of the US authorities.

Griner’s spouse, Cherrell, urged President Joe Biden to safe his launch, calling him “a political pawn.”

Phoenix Mercury coach Vanessa Nygaard stated Monday: “It was good to see him in a few of these photos, nevertheless it’s laborious. Each time it is a reminder that his associate, his buddy, is unfairly imprisoned abroad.”

prisoner swap

Griner’s supporters have inspired a prisoner swap in April that introduced house maritime veteran Trevor Reid in change for a Russian pilot convicted of a drug trafficking conspiracy.

The Russian information media has repeatedly speculated that she could also be swapped for Russian arms supplier Viktor Bout, nicknamed the “Service provider of Loss of life”, who seeks to kill American civilians and supply help to a terrorist group. He’s serving a 25-year sentence for conspiracy. ,

Russia has been agitating for years for the discharge of the bout. However the extensive discrepancy between Griner’s case — which concerned the alleged possession of vape cartridges containing hashish oil — and the bout’s international offers in deadly weapons might make such a swap unsuitable for the US.

Others have prompt that she could have been traded with Paul Whelan, a former maritime and safety director serving a 16-year sentence for espionage, which the US has repeatedly known as a setup. has been described.


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