Lawyers Appeal Brittney Griner’s Russian Prison Sentence

MOSCOW (AP) — Lawyers for American basketball star Brittney Griner on Monday filed an attraction towards her nine-year Russian prison sentence for drug possession, Russian information companies reported Monday.

Griner, a middle for the Phoenix Mercury and a two-time Olympic gold medalist, was convicted on Aug. 4. She was arrested in February at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport after vape canisters containing hashish oil had been present in her baggage.

Griner performed for a ladies’s basketball crew in Yekaterinburg in the course of the WNBA offseason.

Lawyer Maria Blagovolina was quoted by Russian information companies on Monday as saying the attraction was filed, however the grounds of the attraction weren’t instantly clear.

Blagovolina and co-counsel Alexander Boykov mentioned after the conviction that the sentence was extreme and that in related instances defendants have obtained a median sentence of about 5 years, with a few third of them granted parole.

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

Earlier than her conviction, the U.S. State Division declared Griner to be “wrongfully detained.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken took the bizarre step of unveiling publicly in July that the U.S. had made a “substantial proposal” to get Griner dwelling dwelling, together with Paul Whelan, an American serving a 16-year sentence in Russia for espionage.

Blinken didn’t elaborate, however The Related Press and different information organizations have reported that Washington has supplied to free Viktor Bout, a Russian arms seller who’s serving a 25-year sentence within the U.S. and as soon as earned the nickname the “Merchant of Death.”

On Sunday, a senior Russian diplomat mentioned trade talks have been carried out.

“This quite sensitive issue of the swap of convicted Russian and U.S. citizens is being discussed through the channels defined by our presidents,” Alexander Darchiev, head of the International Ministry’s North America division, advised state information company Tass. “These individuals are, indeed, being discussed. The Russian side has long been seeking the release of Viktor Bout. The details should be left to professionals, proceeding from the ‘do not harm’ principle.’”


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