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Issued on: 04/08/2022 – 17:36

A Russian courtroom despatchedenced U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner to 9 yrs in jail on Thursday after discovering her responsible of deliberately conveying hashish-infused vape cartridges into Russia, a ruling that President Joe Biden referred to as “unacceptable.”

Griner was arrested in mid-February, and her case threw the Texan athlete into the geopolitical maelstrom triggered when President Vladimir Putin despatched troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24, propelling U.S.-Russia relations to A mannequin new submit-Chilly Wrestle low.

Griner’s despatchedencing might now pave The biggest method for a U.S.-RussiA jailer swap Which might Embrace the 31-yr-previous athlete and an imjailed Russian who was as quickly as a prolific arms supplier.

Griner had admitted having the vape cartridges containing hashish oil however said it was an reliable mistake. Earlier than The selection, she pleaded with a Russian Decide to not “finish her life” with a harsh jail despatchedence, before breaking down in tears in courtroom. The courtroom additionally fined her 1 million roubles ($16,990).

Biden, beneath strain To assist free People held in Russia, referred to as on Russia to launch Griner immediately and said his administration would proceed to work for her launch.

“Right now, American citizen Brittney Griner acquired A jail despatchedence That is Ancompletely different reminder of whOn the world already knew: Russia is wrongfully detaining Brittney,” Biden said in A press launch.

“It is unacceptable, And that i name on Russia to launch her immediately so she Could be Collectively with her spouse, Relations, frifinishs, and groupmates.”

Griner’s defence regulationyers said They might attraction. The defence group said that in despatchedencing the courtroom had ignored all proof That they had launched As properly as to Griner’s responsible plea. They said they have been “dissatisfied” by The selection.

The Russian prosecutor had referred to as for Griner, a two-time Olympic gprevious medallist and a Women’s Nationwide Basketball Affiliation (WNBA) star, to be despatchedenced to 9-Half yrs jail if she was found responsible of conveying illegal medicine into the nation.

‘Honest mistake’

Griner was detained at Moscow’s Sright heremetyevo airport on Feb. 17 with the cartridges containing hashish oil in her baggage. Wright hereas she pleaded responsible, she said she had neither meant to convey a banned substance to Russia nor To harm anyone.

“I made an reliable mistake And that i hope that in your ruling, that it Does not finish my life right here,” Griner said in courtroom on Thursday before breaking down in tears.

“My mom and father taught me two important issues: one, take possession of your duties and two, work exhausting for every thing That you merely’ve acquired. That is why I pled responsible to my costs.”

Griner additionally referred to the worldwide politics Spherical her case.

“I do know everyone retains talking about political pawn and politics, however I hope That is Faraway from this courtroomroom,” Griner said.

Cannabis Is as quickly as extrast the regulation in Russia For every medicinal and leisure features.

Sporting legfinish

Griner’s defence group had referred to as for her to be acquitted. Her regulationyers said on Thursday that if the courtroom deemed it Esdespatchedial to punish her, she Ought to be dealt with leniently, casting her as a sporting legfinish alongside Usain Bolt and Michael Schumacher.

“In sprinting Tright here’s Usain Bolt, in Formulation 1 Michael Schumacher, and in women’s basketball Tright here’s Brittney Griner,” regulationyer Maria Blagovolina, a companion at Rybalkin Gortsunyan Dyakin and Companions regulation agency, tprevious the courtroom.

Alexander Boikov, her completely different regulationyer, said A pair of of the case information have been drawn up in violation of the regulation.

America has provided to commerce Russian jailers for People together with Griner and former Marine Paul Whelan.

“I even Want to say as quickly as extra that I had no intent on breaking any Russians regulations,” Griner tprevious the courtroom. “I had no intent, I Did not conspire or plan to commit this crime.”

Geopolitical ‘pawn’?

One supply Conversant Inside the state of affairs said that Washington was prepared to commerce convicted arms trafficker Viktor Bout, whose life assisted encourage the 2005 Hollywood film “Lord of Wrestle” starring Nicholas Cage.

Russian officers have said a deal has not been reached. They argue that Griner – Usually acknowledged as “BG” to basketball followers – violated regulations And will be decided accordingly.

Griner appeared On the listening to in A grey T-shirt and round-rimmed glasses. Earlier than taking …….

Source: https://www.france24.com/en/europe/20220804-russian-court-sentences-us-basketball-star-brittney-griner-to-9-years-on-drug-charges

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