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Russian prosecutor seeks nine-and-a-half years in prison for Britney Griner

US Proposes Release of Britney Griner

Russia A Russian court sentenced American basketball star Britney Griner to nine and a half years in prison in closing arguments in her drug possession trial Thursday, prosecutors asked.

Almost six months after Griner's arrest at a Moscow airport in a case that reached the highest level of U.S.-Russian diplomacy over Washington's proposed prisoner exchange, the trial is drawing to a close. rice field. Under Russian law, Greiner, 31, faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

Russian courts rarely acquit defendants, and given that Griner admitted that he had e-cigarette cartridges containing cannabis oil in his luggage, he was found guilty. The verdict seems almost certain, but judges have a great deal of latitude in sentencing. I didn't mean to hurt anyone for exposing or violating Russian law.I made an honest mistake.I hope your verdict is passed.Here's my It's not the end of life," Griner said in court on Thursday, apologizing to his family, teammates, fans and the people of Russia. but I hope it's far from this court, take into account all the documents, all the person lists that everyone has sent me. I only wanted to win the championship and make you proud.”

Moscow WNBA basketball player Britney Griner, who was detained at Sheremetyevo Airport in , and later charged with illegal cannabis possession, stands in and in front of the defendant's cage. Trial held in Khimki, a Moscow suburb, on August 4, 2022. EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Attorney at Phoenix Mercury Center and two Attorneys Time Olympic gold medalists say she has no criminal intent. They pursued a strategy that bolstered Greiner's claim that the canister ended up in her luggage because she had no money and was in a hurry to pack. He presented human witnesses and written testimony from a doctor who said he had prescribed cannabis for her to treat her pain. mistakenly brought the cartridges to Russia, claiming that he only used cannabis as a drug while in Arizona, where medical marijuana is legal. Prosecutor Nikolai Vlasenko alleged that Griner deliberately stuffed him with cannabis oil.

It is not known when the verdict will be announced. If she is not released, attention will turn to the dangerouspossibility of prisoner exchange

before her trial begins in July, the State Department said. Her case was moved under the supervision of the Presidential Special Envoy for Hostage Affairs, effectively the government's chief hostage negotiator, for being "wrongfully detained," who named her.

And last week US Secretary of State Anthony Brinken met with Russian Secretary of State Sergei Lavrov to urge him to accept the deal that Americans Griner and Paul Whelan are imprisoned in Russia. . The spy conviction will go free.

The Lavrov-Blinken call marked the highest level of contact known between Washington and Moscow since Russia sent troops to Ukraine more than five months before him. . A direct approach to Greiner is at odds with US efforts to isolate the Kremlin.

Those familiar with the proposal say it envisions trading Griner and Whelan for a notorious arms dealer Viktor BoutRelease Greiner, which highlights the public pressure facing the White House.

White House Press Secretary Carine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Monday that Russia had responded "viciously" to the US government's proposal. U.S. officials do not view the counter-proposal as serious. She declined to elaborate.

, said it disrespected Russian law. Remaining poker-faced, they "urged Washington to discuss the matter through quiet diplomacy without releasing speculative information."

Delivered to the White House  Inhandwritten letters , the WNBA player wrote that she feared her potential. Imprisoned in Russia 'forever' 

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