Nine years in prison in Russia: US basketball player Griner appeals

Nine years imprisonment in Russia
US basketball player Griner files appeal

US basketball player Griner has been sentenced to nine years in prison for having found a small amount of hashish in her luggage. Rumors of a prisoner exchange have only recently been circulating. Now, however, Griner is taking action against the verdict.

US basketball player Brittney Griner, who has been sentenced to nine years in prison in Russia, has appealed the verdict. This was reported by several Russian news agencies, citing Griner’s lawyer Maria Blagowolina. Griner was arrested at a Moscow airport in February with a small amount of hashish and convicted by a court in the Russian capital in early August. Internationally, the verdict triggered a wave of solidarity with the 31-year-old athlete.

The US sharply criticizes the decision of the Russian judiciary and demands their release. Despite deep political differences between Moscow and Washington, the American side hopes that Griner will be exchanged for a Russian citizen in US captivity. According to Foreign Minister Lavrov, Russia agreed to discuss a prisoner exchange with Washington.

However, a direct communication channel between Presidents Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden, which had been agreed between the two, must be maintained. According to US information, Moscow is demanding in return, among other things, the release of the Russian Vadim K, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in Germany for the Tiergarten murder. However, the Kremlin recently criticized the public debate about the possibility of such a deal.

Upon arrival at Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport, so-called vape cartridges and hashish oil were found on Griner. It is said to have been 0.5 grams. This was ruled as illegal drug possession and attempted smuggling. Griner pleaded guilty but stressed that she did not intend to violate Russian law. However, the court in Moscow did not recognize any mitigating circumstances.

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