Two-time Olympic champion Britney Griner found guilty by Russian Court sentenced to nine years in prison

Britney Griner Instagram

 

Two-time Olympic champion Brittney Griner was found guilty of drug possession and smuggling in a Russian court on Thursday. Prosecutors initially sought a nine-and-a-half-year prison sentence for Griner on cannabis possession charges, almost six months after the American basketball star was apprehended at a Moscow airport.

“I want to apologize to my teammates, my club, my fans and the city of Yekaterinburg for my mistake that I made and the embarrassment that I brought on them.” “I want to also apologize to my parents, my siblings, the Phoenix Mercury organization back at home, the amazing women of the WNBA, and my amazing spouse back at home.” Britney said.

What type of prison will she be in? Of course, the US is concerned about  mistreatment such as forced labor and diet restrictions, and other abuses. An exchange deal is still on the table, but the Russian court wanted to  have her charged first before any negotiations would take place. Russian state news stated   they  would free Griner in exchange for convicted arms trafficker Viktor Bout, aka  as the “Merchant of Death.” Bout was arrested in Thailand in 2008 then he was  extradited to the U.S. and sent to prison for 25 years for conspiracy to kill U.S. citizens, and the  delivery of anti-aircraft missiles. Bout also was convicted of  providing aid to a terrorist organization.

Britney will now remain in jail until a full confirmation of her sentence time is determined by the judge. The sentence was delivered by Judge Anna Sotnikova of the Khimki city court, who fined Griner 1 million rubles, or about $16,400. She stated that the court considered Griner’s partial admission of guilt, remorse for the deed, health, and charitable activities.

President Biden made a statement this morning- “Today, American citizen Brittney Griner received a prison sentence that is one more reminder of what the world already knew: Russia is wrongfully detaining Brittney. It’s unacceptable, and I call on Russia to release her immediately so she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends, and teammates.  My administration will continue to work tirelessly and pursue every possible avenue to bring Brittney and Paul Whelan home safely as soon as possible.”

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