Brittney Griner’s appeal of her jail sentence is denied by a Russian court

Photo of author

By Creative Media News

Brittney Griner, an American basketball star, has had her appeal against her nine-year prison sentence on drug charges denied by a Russian court.

The court in the vicinity of Moscow maintained the punishment, which the state prosecutor deemed “just.”

The two-time Olympic champion apologized for her “honest error” at her appeal hearing via video link, citing the “very difficult” circumstances.

Griner, 32, was found guilty of smuggling and having cannabis oil in August.

It was unclear whether all legal avenues had been exhausted immediately.

Alexander Boykov, the attorney for the athlete, expressed his team’s hope that a prisoner exchange would be possible.

Brittney griner's appeal of her jail sentence is denied by a russian court
Brittney griner's appeal of her jail sentence is denied by a russian court

In August, the Kremlin proposed a prisoner swap involving a basketball player between the United States and Russia.

According to reports in US media, Washington may send the imprisoned Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, often known as the Merchant of Death, to Russian authorities as part of the arrangement.

Mr. Boykov stated, “No honest judge will assert that Griner’s nine-year sentence is consistent with Russian criminal law.”

He said that his legal team would discuss with Griner whether she wished to file a further appeal.

The White House referred to the court proceedings as a “sham.”

Jake Sullivan, a national security adviser for the United States, stated in a statement that Griner is being “wrongfully detained under terrible circumstances” and that President Joe Biden has demanded her immediate release.

A senior American official present at the hearing deemed the penalty “excessive and disproportionate.”

The athlete spoke remotely to the appeals court of three justices from her prison facility in a city near Moscow.

She had told the court, “I sincerely hope that the court would modify this sentence because it has been really difficult and distressing.”

“People with more serious offenses received less than I did,” she added.

Considered one of the best players in the world, she was stopped on February 17 at an airport near Moscow when cannabis oil-containing vape cartridges were discovered in her luggage.

She came to Russia to play club basketball during the off-season in the United States.

Her situation has become the focus of high-profile diplomacy between the United States and Russia, whose ties have deteriorated since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to content