Russian court docket jails US basketball star Brittney Griner for 9 years over drug smuggling | Off the sector Information – Instances of India

Russian court docket jails US basketball star Brittney Griner for 9 years over drug smuggling | Off the sector Information – Instances of India

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Choose Anna Sotnikova sentenced Griner, 31, to 9 years in jail and stated she would additionally must pay a high quality of 1 million rubles ($16,590). (Reuters photograph)

KHIMKI, RUSSIA: A Russian court docket on Thursday discovered US basketball star Brittney Griner responsible of smuggling and storing medicine and sentenced her to 9 years in jail.
The court docket “discovered the defendant responsible” of smuggling and possessing “a major quantity of narcotics”, decide Anna Sotnikova advised a court docket within the city of Khimki simply exterior Moscow.
Sotnikova sentenced Griner, 31, to 9 years in jail and stated she would additionally must pay a high quality of 1 million rubles ($16,590).
The six-foot-nine (2.06 metres) star was detained at a Moscow airport in February after she was discovered carrying vape cartridges with hashish oil in her baggage. The arrest got here simply days earlier than Moscow launched its navy intervention in Ukraine.
Prosecutors had earlier requested the two-time Olympic basketball gold medallist and Girls’s NBA champion be sentenced to 9 and a half years in jail on drug smuggling fees.
Griner’s trial got here with tensions hovering between Moscow and Washington over Russia’s navy intervention in Ukraine that has sparked worldwide condemnation and a litany of Western sanctions.
“I made an sincere mistake and I hope that your ruling does not finish my life right here,” Griner stated earlier Thursday.
“I need the court docket to know it was an sincere mistake that I made whereas speeding, beneath stress, making an attempt to recuperate from post-Covid and simply making an attempt to get again to my staff.”
Griner’s trial has accelerated in latest days as the USA and Russia talk about a possible prisoner swap that would contain the basketball star.
“I ask the court docket to search out Griner responsible and sentence her to 9 years and 6 months in jail,” prosecutor Nikolay Vlasenko stated, requesting a time period simply in need of the utmost punishment of 10 years.
Vlasenko stated Griner “intentionally” proceeded via the inexperienced hall at customs and said she had nothing to declare “so as to conceal” the substance.
Griner walked into the courtroom in handcuffs, escorted by a number of regulation enforcement officers and a police canine.
Standing inside a cage for defendants earlier than the beginning of the listening to, she held up a photograph of herself with teammates from the Russian membership she performs for.
Her lawyer Maria Blagovolina advised the court docket earlier Thursday that Griner was “an icon for many individuals” and “was courageous” to confess her guilt.
She added that the quantity of substance introduced in by the athlete was “simply over” the allowed quantity.
Blagovolina requested the court docket to acquit Griner or think about a extra lenient sentence if she is discovered responsible.
Griner was detained when she got here to Russia to play membership basketball with UMMC Ekaterinburg throughout the US low season — a standard path for American stars looking for extra revenue.
Griner pleaded responsible to the fees, however stated she didn’t intend to interrupt the regulation or use the banned substance in Russia.
In earlier hearings, Griner stated she was recurrently examined by US, Russian and European leagues.
The WNBA star stated she had permission from a US physician to make use of medicinal hashish to alleviate ache from her many accidents — “from backbone to cartilages.”
Her case has raised hypothesis a couple of potential prisoner swap between Moscow and Washington.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated final week that Washington had made a “substantial proposal” to Moscow to free Griner and former US Marine Paul Whelan, who was imprisoned on espionage fees.
A prisoner swap was additionally mentioned throughout a name between Blinken and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Friday.
The very best-profile Russian prisoner in the USA is Victor Bout, a 55-year-old arms trafficker, dubbed the “Service provider of Loss of life”, who’s serving 25 years in jail.
There isn’t a official affirmation that Washington has supplied to trade him.
Russia and the USA have already performed one prisoner swap because the begin of Moscow’s Ukraine offensive.
In April, Washington exchanged former US Marine Trevor Reed for convicted drug smuggler Konstantin Yaroshenko.

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