Incarcerated American basketball player
Griner Pleads Guilty – Criticizes Russia “Hype”
President Joe Biden has declared the release of Britney Greiner, 31, a “priority.” As expected, the American basketball player pleaded guilty, while Russia criticized the “hype”.
Published: 07/07/2022 at 17:53
Basketball star Brittney Griner’s next court date is Thursday, as she pleaded guilty as expected. “I had no intention of violating Russian law,” the accused said. A final verdict is still pending.
Meanwhile, Russia has criticized the Washington government’s “public publicity” about the jailed Griner as unhelpful. The fuss over Griner “distracts from the case” and “disrupts,” Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Thursday, according to Russian news agencies. On Wednesday, US President Biden spoke by phone with Griner’s wife, declaring the release of a US citizen jailed for drug trafficking in Russia a “priority”.
“The United States needs to take into account the signals from Russia,” Ryabkov said. His call came on the day of the second trial at Griner’s trial in the Moscow suburb of Khimki. Under Russian law, a 31-year-old faces up to ten years in a Russian penal colony. According to top officials in Washington, Griner is being held “unfairly and in intolerable conditions.”
Griner wrote a letter to Biden
With observers already speculating about a possible exchange of prisoners between the United States and Russia, Ryabkov said, according to the deputy foreign minister, “the outcome of this process must first be awaited.”
Greiner had previously written a letter to Joe Biden that was placed as a symbol at the White House on July 4, America’s Independence Day. In it, the athlete pleaded with the president not to “forget” him.
The star player of the American professional league WNBA was arrested at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport in mid-February. According to authorities, officers found cartridges for e-cigarettes with marijuana oil in Griner’s luggage. The amount was less than one gram of solid marijuana, prosecutors said Friday.
The standoff over the basketball star comes amid escalating diplomatic tensions between the United States and Russia since the start of Russian military operations in Ukraine on February 24. (AFP)
The legal expert in the Griner case: “Five years in prison is five years in a labor camp”(01:30)
Arrested after this video: Here, Russian tax collectors get the American Olympic champion(01:16)
Giant’s best dunks: At 2.03 meters tall, Brittney Griner is one of America’s biggest stars(02:45)
“Wannabe pop culture fanatic. Zombie advocate. Entrepreneur. Internet evangelist. Alcohol fanatic. Typical travel buff.”