Brittney Griner’s legal professionals current medical hashish prescription as proof in Russian court docket

WNBA star Brittney Griner appeared in a Moscow courtroom for the second day in a row Friday, and her authorized workforce mentioned it had introduced new proof to assist clarify why she entered Russia with a hashish product that led to her arrest.  

Her trial resumed Thursday, a few week after Griner entered a responsible plea earlier than the court docket, which analysts consider could have been her finest probability at securing an eventual pardon, or a minimum of leniency, given the Russian court docket system’s near-perfect conviction price.

Maria Blagovolina, one of many legal professionals representing Griner, mentioned her authorized workforce had introduced proof Friday together with “characterization supplies, medical data and tax returns.” Among the many medical documentation was a health care provider’s prescription for the substance that Griner has admitted bringing into Russia mistakenly as she packed her baggage in a rush.  

Friday’s was the fourth listening to within the Phoenix Mercury participant’s trial. She’s dealing with as much as 10 years in jail on drug possession and smuggling fees. Griner has already spent about 5 months in custody after being detained at a Moscow airport with what prosecutors say had been vape cartridges containing cannabis-derived oil.

Her request for forgiveness was seen largely as a bid by her authorized workforce to get a verdict as rapidly as potential and forestall the trial from dragging out, as Moscow is unlikely to answer any makes an attempt by Washington to safe her launch till the court docket course of has performed out.

Brittney Griner again in court docket after pleading responsible to drug fees


The Biden administration considers the basketball star “wrongfully detained,” and authorized specialists consider Griner’s finest probability of strolling free is that if Russia and the U.S. can conform to a prisoner swap.

As she appeared for Thursday’s listening to, Moscow warned the U.S. in opposition to exerting any strain, particularly in public, to safe Griner’s launch.

“We urge the U.S. authorities to not speculate on such delicate issues which have an effect on the fates of particular individuals, and we advise to chorus from futile makes an attempt to strain us and concentrate on sensible work by established channels,” Russian International Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova mentioned at a press briefing on Thursday.

“Griner’s authorized proceedings are ongoing, and till they conclude, it’s untimely to debate any choices of her return dwelling,” Zakharova added.

WNBA star Brittney Griner pleads responsible to drug fees in Russia


Russian media have speculated that the Kremlin will search to change Griner for Viktor Bout, a convicted arms vendor often known as the “Service provider of Demise,” who has been in U.S. custody since 2008. One other identify floated by Russian officers is that of Roman Seleznev, who’s serving a 27-year jail sentence within the U.S. on cyber fraud fees.

On the Thursday listening to, the court docket heard witnesses for the protection who testified to Griner’s character. Maxim Ryabkov, the pinnacle of the Russian basketball membership UMMC Ekaterinburg, the place Griner performs in the course of the U.S. low season, mentioned he had by no means “seen or heard” Griner utilizing medication within the seven years he is labored along with her.

The captain of the workforce, Evgenia Belyakova, testified within the listening to that Griner is a “accountable particular person,” and mentioned she believes it will have been unattainable for Griner to make use of medication and carry out on the workforce given their demanding recreation schedule.

On Friday, the choose scheduled the following listening to for July 26. The protection had requested for every week to satisfy  with Griner to assist her put together to offer testimony.

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