Russia sets appeal date for Britney Griner

Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP

basketball star Britney Griner An appeal hearing is scheduled for October 25 in a Russian court, according to the Associated Press.

WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury center The two-time Olympic gold medalist has been in a Russian prison for 230 days.she was convicted of drugs possession On August 4, police found an e-cigarette container containing cannabis oil in her luggage at a Moscow airport.

Griner admitted to having canisters in her luggage, but testified that she had packed them carelessly and had no criminal intent. says he was prescribed cannabis. She was sentenced to nine years in prison. The judge also fined her one million rubles (about $16,700).

After Griner’s conviction, her lawyers argued that the nine-year sentence was excessive, according to the AP. They said defendants in similar cases received her five-year sentence on average.

On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Carine Jean-Pierre said at a news conference that the Kremlin had yet to respond to a “serious” offer by the Biden administration in July to release Griner. Jean-Pierre reiterated the White House position that Griner was wrongfully imprisoned, calling her upcoming appeal “another bogus judicial proceeding.”

The US State Department declared Griner “wrongfully detained.” However, Russia denies that claim. In July, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced a “substantial proposal” for Washington to repatriate Paul Whelan, an American serving a 16-year sentence for espionage in Griner and Russia. ‘ said he did.

President Biden met last month with Britney Griner’s wife, Sherrel Griner, and the player’s agent, Lindsay Colas. Biden also met with Elizabeth Whelan, sister of Paul Whelan.

After the meeting, the White House reiterated the president’s “continued commitment to work through all available means to bring Britney and Paul back home safely” to the family.

Britney Griner will turn 32 on October 18, just one week before her appeal hearing is scheduled.

https://www.essence.com/news/britney-griner-appeal/ Russia sets appeal date for Britney Griner

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