Categories: Breaking News

WNBA star’s lawyers appeal Russian drug conviction – WFTV

Brittney Griner: What you need to know WNBA star Brittney Griner was arrested in Russia in February. (NCD)

Moscow – Attorneys for WNBA star Brittney Griner have appealed her conviction on drug charges in Russia, multiple media outlets are reporting.

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According to The Associated Press, Russian media reported on Monday that lawyer Maria Blagovolina, one of the lawyers representing Griner, 31, confirmed that the appeal had been filed. No further details were publicly available.

The news came less than two weeks after the two-time Olympic gold medalist was convicted in a Russian court on Aug. 4 of drug trafficking and possession, the AP previously reported. Griner, who had pleaded guilty, was sentenced to nine years in prison and fined about $16,400, according to AP and CNN. After the decision, his lawyers called the sentence “absolutely unreasonable” and accused the court of ignoring “all the evidence of the defense and, most importantly, the guilty plea,” The New York reported Times at that time.

Russian authorities arrested the Phoenix Mercury center in February after they said he had cannabis in his luggage at a Moscow airport, the AP reported. Griner, who said he packed the oil by mistake and never intended to bring it to Russia, also argued that he uses the oil to treat pain and that he had received a recommendation from a doctor, according to the news agency.

Late last month, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with his counterpart Sergey Lavrov, pushing for a deal where Griner and another American jailed in Russia for espionage, Paul Whelan, could be released in exchange for arms dealer Viktor Bout, the PA. reported On Sunday, a senior Russian diplomat acknowledged that discussions about a prisoner exchange have taken place, according to the news agency.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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