A Russian judge decide Brittney Griner to 9 years in a penal colony after the WNBA star and two-time US Olympic gold medalist was found guilty of drug possession.
Griner, who entered a guilty plea weeks ago, Sorry to her family and wife.
“I created an honest mistake, and I hope that in your ruling, it doesn’t finish my life here,” Griner said aforesaid to the russian judge.
Now that the trial has all over, negotiations to free Griner are expected to continue between Washington and Moscow throughout a period of tension between the 2 countries.
Griner, who had played for Russian team UMMC Ekaterinburg since 2014 throughout the WNBA offseason, was in remission February. seventeen at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport. Russian authorities said she carried vape cartridges containing haschisch oil in her luggage; Griner same throughout the trial that transpire in Khmiki, Russia, that she accidentally packed them hurriedly and pleaded guilty “without intent.” The court, however, claimed she committed the crime deliberately.
“The diligence that my parents instilled in American state is what brought me to play for the simplest EuroLeague and Russian team here in Ekaterinburg,” Griner mentioned thursday from a cage within the room. “I wish to apologize to my teammates, the club, the fans and also the town of (Ekaterinburg for) the error that I created and also the embarrassment I brought.
“This is my second home. All I needed to try and do was win a championship and build them proud.”
Experts within the Russian system – that encompasses a ninety nine conviction rate – aforementioned admitting to the transgression might lead to leniency on the 10-year most sentence Griner faced.
The lead official against Griner asked the decide to sentence her to 9 years and 6 months in an exceedingly jail colony.
“I recognize everyone keeps talking regarding ‘political pawn’ and politics. however I hope that’s aloof from this room,” Griner same.
Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov, Griner’s lawyers in Russia, antecedently advocated for leniency during a statement. The accumulation conferred character witnesses from her Russian team and written testimony from a doctor United Nations agency same he counseled her cannabis for pain treatment.
“Considering the character of her case, the insignificant quantity of the substance and BG’s temperament and history of positive contributions to world and Russian sport, the defense hopes that the plea are going to be thought-about by the court as a mitigating issue and there’ll be no severe sentence,” they same.
Griner’s lawyers referred to as the decision “absolutely unreasonable” and aforementioned it didn’t account for her plea. they’ll file an charm.
Griner, 31, won the 2014 WNBA title in her second season with the Phoenix Mercury, the sole WNBA team that she has played. She could be a wander evaluation champion and has led the league in blocks eight times. She conjointly won gold for Team USA women’s basketball at the Summer Olympic Games in Delaware Janeiro|Rio|city|metropolis|urban center} de Janeiro and tokyo.