By Eurohoops team/ [email protected]
WNBA star Brittney Griner was sentenced to nine years in prison after being found guilty on drug charges (attempt to smuggle illegal narcotics) by a Russian court.
The court’s Judge Anna Sotnikova said that the reason behind the ruling is that Grinner knowingly and intentionally broke Russian law. Griner had admitted that she was indeed carrying vape cartridges with cannabis oil but denied intent, saying that she wasn’t aware how they were in her luggage.
This sentence was more or less expected and described as a “formality”, especially after the prosecutor asked for this number of jail time. USA president Joe Biden described the sentence as “unacceptable,” in a statement and called Russia to “immediately release” Griner “so that she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends and teammates.”
The NBA and WNBA issued a joint statement, calling the verdict and sentencing “Unjustified and unfortunate but not unexpected.”
There’s already an offer on the table by the US government regarding an exchange that will bring Griner back to the States. The Biden administration has proposed Kremlin to give convicted Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout in return for Griner and Paul Whelan (a US citizen who has been jailed on spying charges).
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