U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner returned to face trial at a Russian court docket on Tuesday as the US sought to safe her launch with a prisoner swap to assist her keep away from as much as 10 years in jail on medication fees.
Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and a Girls’s Nationwide Basketball Affiliation (WNBA) star, was detained at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport on Feb. 17 with vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her baggage.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated on Wednesday the US has made a ”substantial provide” to Russia to launch Americans held in Russia, together with Griner and former Marine Paul Whelan.
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A supply stated that Washington was keen to alternate convicted arms trafficker Viktor Bout, often known as the ”Service provider of Demise.”
Russia stated that there was no deal but, and Griner is unlikely to be swapped till there’s a verdict, which might occur by mid-August.
Griner, 31, has pleaded responsible to the costs towards her however has denied that she supposed to interrupt Russian regulation.
Carrying a plain khaki T-shirt and round-rimmed glassed, Griner was ushered a courtroom by police at Khimki District Court docket outdoors Moscow, Griner held up private images earlier than taking a seat within the defendant’s cage.
The 2-time Olympic champion testified final week that she couldn’t perceive how the vape cartridges had ended up in her baggage, speculating that she had inadvertently packed them as she rushed to go away.
Griner had been her option to be part of her Russian staff, UMMC Ekaterinburg, for the playoffs after spending time at dwelling in the US.
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