Russian prosecutors have asked a court outside Moscow to sentence WNBA star Brittney Griner to nine and a half years in prison for possession of marijuana. The claim was made during the debates that ended on Thursday, almost six months after Griner arrested at a Moscow airport.
Phoenix Mercury Center pleaded guilty with charges last month, and it was reported that she could face up to 10 years in prison. The Biden Administration make an agreement with the Russian government last week to free Griner, a deal that includes returning the seven-time All-Star and another imprisoned American, Paul Whelan, back to the states in exchange for the release of a criminal. Russian arms dealer now in jail in US
Griner’s attorney Maria Blagovolina said there will be a verdict in the case late Thursday. Blagovolina asked the court to acquit Griner, noting that she has no criminal record and praising her role. in the ‘development of Russian basketball'”. an ESPN report read. “If the court deems it necessary to punish her, then Griner – who faces a maximum sentence of 10 years – will receive the most lenient punishment,” Blagovolina said.
Griner’s testing began in early July. When submitting her plea, she told a judge she had “unintentionally” brought hash oil into Russia, while asking the court for mercy.
“I want to plead guilty, for your honor. But not with that intention. I don’t want to break the law,” Griner told the judge in English, which was later translated into Russian for the court.
The U.S. government announced in early May that Griner was wrongfully detained. According to one ESPN’s report“less than 1% of defendants in criminal cases in Russia are acquitted, and unlike in the US, acquittals can be overturned.”