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Russian court upholds WNBA star Brittney Griner’s 9-year prison sentence

Brittney Griner’s spouse particulars name


Brittney Griner’s spouse particulars name from Russian prison

09:28

A Russian court on Tuesday upheld American basketball star Brittney Griner‘s nine-year prison sentence for drug possession, rejecting her enchantment in a session the place she appeared by way of video name from a penal colony exterior Moscow. Griner can nonetheless enchantment to a better court, however her legal professionals have but to substantiate whether or not they’ll take the case additional.

The eight-time all-star middle with the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury and a two-time Olympic gold medalist was convicted on August 4 after police mentioned they discovered vape canisters containing hashish oil in her baggage at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport. 

“This has been very traumatic experience, waiting for this day, waiting for the first court, and getting nine years for a crime that I was barely over the significant amount,” Griner informed the Moscow listening to on Tuesday. “I don’t understand the first court’s decision to give one year less than the max when I’ve been here almost 8 months, and people with more severe crimes have gotten less than what I was given… I really hope that the court will adjust this sentence, because it’s been very, very stressful and very traumatic to my mental and psyche, being away from my family and not being able to communicate.”

Earlier this month, Brittney’s spouse, Cherelle Griner, informed “CBS Mornings” co-host Gayle King that she is frightened of the WNBA star’s destiny.


Brittney Griner’s spouse on WNBA star’s detention in Russia

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“It’s like a movie for me. I’m like, ‘In no world did I ever thought, you know, our president and a foreign nation president would be sitting down having to discuss the freedom of my wife.’ And so to me, as much as everybody’s telling me a different definition of what B.G. is, it feels to me as if she’s a hostage,” Cherelle mentioned.

“That must scare you,” King replied.

“It terrifies me because, I mean, when you watch movies, like, sometimes those situations don’t end well. Sometimes they never get the person back,” mentioned Cherelle.Griner’s February arrest got here at a time of heightened tensions between Moscow and Washington, simply days earlier than Russia despatched troops into Ukraine. At the time, Griner was returning to Russia, the place she performed throughout the U.S. league’s offseason.

U.S. basketball player Brittney Griner appears in court via video link in Krasnogorsk
U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner seems on a display by way of video hyperlink from a detention middle earlier than a court listening to to contemplate her enchantment of her prison sentence on Oct. 25, 2022.

EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA / REUTERS


During her trial, Griner admitted that she had the canisters in her baggage, however testified that she had inadvertently packed them in haste and that she had no felony intent. Her protection workforce offered written statements that she had been prescribed hashish to deal with ache.

The nine-year sentence was near the utmost of 10 years, and Griner’s legal professionals argued after the conviction that the punishment was extreme. They mentioned in comparable circumstances defendants have acquired a mean sentence of about 5 years, with a few third of them granted parole.

Before her conviction, the U.S. State Department declared Griner to be “wrongfully detained” — a cost that Russia has sharply rejected.

Reflecting the rising strain on the Biden administration to do extra to convey Griner residence, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken took the weird step of showing publicly in July that Washington had made a “substantial proposal” to get Griner residence, together with Paul Whelan, an American serving a 16-year sentence in Russia for espionage.

Blinken did not elaborate, however The Associated Press and different information organizations have reported that Washington has supplied to trade Griner and Whelan for Viktor Bout, a Russian arms vendor who’s serving a 25-year sentence within the U.S. and as soon as earned the nickname the “merchant of death.”

The White House mentioned it has not but acquired a productive response from Russia to the provide.

Russian diplomats have refused to touch upon the U.S. proposal and urged Washington to debate the matter in confidential talks, avoiding public statements.

In September, U.S. President Joe Biden met with Cherelle Griner, the spouse of Brittney Griner, in addition to the participant’s agent, Lindsay Colas. Biden additionally sat down individually with Elizabeth Whelan, Paul Whelan’s sister.

The White House mentioned after the conferences that the president pressured to the households his “continued commitment to working through all available avenues to bring Brittney and Paul home safely.”

The Biden administration carried out a prisoner swap in April, with Moscow releasing Marine veteran Trevor Reed in trade for the U.S. releasing a Russian pilot, Konstantin Yaroshenko, convicted in a drug trafficking conspiracy.

Moscow additionally has protested the arrest of one other Russian presently in U.S. custody, Alexander Vinnik, who was accused of laundering billions of {dollars} by way of a bootleg cryptocurrency trade. Vinnik had been in custody in Greece after being arrested there in 2017 at U.S. request earlier than being extradited to the U.S. in August. It wasn’t clear if Russia would possibly demand Vinnik’s launch as a part of a possible swap.

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