WNBA’s Griner convicted at drug trial, sentenced to 9 years
KHIMKI, Russia (AP) – A judge in Russia convicted American basketball star Brittney Griner of drug possession and smuggling.
She was sentenced to nine years in prison in a politically charged case that could lead to a high-stakes prisoner exchange between Washington and Moscow.
Griner showed little emotion to the sentence but her lawyers said later she was “very upset, very stressed.”
U.S. President Joe Biden denounced as “unacceptable” the verdict and sentence, which came amid soaring tensions between the U.S. and Russia over Ukraine.
Griner had told the court she had no intention to break the law by bringing vape cartridges with cannabis oil when she flew to Moscow to play basketball in the city of Yekaterinburg.
EXPLAINER: What will it take to get Brittney Griner home?
WASHINGTON (AP) – Now that WNBA star Brittney Griner has been convicted of drug possession and sentenced to nine years in prison, attention turns to the prospect of a prisoner swap between the United States and Russia that could get her home.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken went public with that possibility last week, revealing in an unusual announcement that the U.S. had made a “substantial proposal” aimed at securing the release of Griner and another jailed American, Paul Whelan.
With her court case concluded and her sentence pronounced, such a deal is Griner’s best chance of being freed early.
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8/4/2022 4:10:58 PM (GMT -5:00)