Brittney Griners legal team has filed an appeal contrary to the Russian court decision that sentenced her to nine years in prison, her lawyer Maria Blagovolina told CNBC on Monday. Griner was arrested to carry an individual vape cartridge containing significantly less than a gram of hash oil.
After half a year in pretrial detention, the Phoenix Mercury star player was found guilty of drug possession on August 4. Griner pled guilty in early July, but additionally told the court that there is no intent, that the vape cartridge only made its way into her luggage unintentionally, and that she didnt desire to break regulations.
The appeal comes soon after it had been reported that america is wanting to negotiate a prisoner exchange with the Russian government to secure Griners release. President Biden has reportedly wanted to free the Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, nicknamed the Merchant of Death, in trade for Griner and Paul Whelan, a former Marine who has been held in Russia since 2020 on espionage charges. Both have already been deemed wrongly imprisoned by the united states STATE DEPT..
As the Russian government previously dismissed talks of this type of deal as unequal, Russian officials appeared to indicate that negotiations you could end up a good outcome in comments reported by The Daily Beast on Saturday. A Russian spokesperson told the Russian state news service Tass that the talks should bear fruit, if needless to say, Washington strictly follows it without slipping into propaganda.
The Russian government had at once reportedly requested to include Vadim Krasikov, who was simply convicted of murdering a former Chechen fighter in December, to the exchange deal, even though Krasikov happens to be in German custody. However, The Daily Beast reported that Russia may now most probably to a fresh deal not involving Krasikov.
Until then, though, Griner remains in Russian captivity. On July 4 the Olympian wrote a letter yourself addressed to President Joe Biden where she said she was terrified that she may be in Russian prison forever.
It hurts considering how I celebrate today because freedom means something very different to me this season, she wrote at that time. I still have so much good related to my freedom that you could help restore. I miss my partner! I miss my children! I miss my teammates! It kills me to learn they’re suffering so much at this time. I’m grateful for anything you can do currently to obtain me home.