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WNBA star Brittney Griner is ‘pessimistic’ as Russian court docket hears her attraction


A Russian appeals court docket is listening to the case of WNBA star Brittney Griner, who was sentenced in August to 9 years in jail in what the US referred to as wrongful detention.

Griner, 32, was attending a listening to on the Moscow Regional Courtroom early Tuesday through video convention from the detention heart the place she is being held. The athlete is predicted to be moved to a penalty space if her attraction is denied.

Griner is “fairly pessimistic concerning the final result” of the attraction, one among her legal professionals, Maria Blagovolina, stated Monday.

“She hopes there will probably be some discount however not that the ruling will probably be overturned,” Blagovolina stated on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Report.”

Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist enjoying for the Phoenix Mercury, was sentenced to 9 years in jail in August for drug costs.

She was detained at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport in February, after Russian authorities stated they discovered a vape container with hashish oil in her baggage.

Griner pleaded responsible in July however stated it was an accident, that she had unintentionally introduced them to Russia and that she had rushed to pack for a flight. Medical marijuana, unlawful in Russia, is authorized in many of the US

American officers say Griner is being improperly detained. State Division spokesman Ned Worth referred to as the judicial proceedings “principally dangerous” on Monday.

“By definition, people who find themselves wrongfully arrested are wrongfully detained. They’re used as political pawns, as leverage,” stated Worth. “Our objective is to get them dwelling as quickly as attainable.”

Griner’s spouse, Cherelle Griner, stated Brittney Griner was being held hostage.

The US has proposed a prisoner alternate with Russia to free Griner and one other American, stated Paul Whelan, an organization govt who has been detained there since 2018, two sources near the matter stated. Sources stated the deal would come with the discharge of imprisoned Russian arms seller Viktor Bout by america.

When she was detained, Griner was in Russia to play for a Russian Premier League ladies’s crew, UMMC Ekaterinburg, as she has carried out since 2014.

Griner’s attorneys filed an attraction in August, after she was convicted.

In April, Russia freed US Trevor Reed in alternate for the US releasing Russian drug seller Konstantin Yaroshenko, who was sentenced to twenty years in jail.

Reed, a former marine, was sentenced to 9 years in jail in Russia in 2020 after authorities there stated he assaulted a Russian police officer after an evening of consuming. Reed and his household have maintained their chastity.


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