American basketball player Brittney Griner sentenced in Russia to 9 years in prison

American basketball player Brittney Griner sentenced in Russia to 9 years in prison

American basketball player Brittney Griner sentenced in Russia to 9 years in prison

Brittney Griner in a Russian court.   American basketball player Brittney Griner sentenced in Russia to 9 years in prison

She was found guilty of carrying vape cartridges with hash oil with criminal intent

On Thursday, the Khimki court sentenced American basketball star Brittney Griner, who was arrested at the airport Sheremetyevo on February 17 during a customs inspection for attempting to transport vape cartridges containing hash oil in luggage. Greiner, 31, was sentenced to 9 years in a penal colony and a fine of 1 million rubles.

The prosecutor demanded to give her 9.5 years in prison. The American was charged under Part 1 of Article 228 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation “on the illegal acquisition, storage and transportation of drugs without the purpose of sale” and Part 2 of Article 229.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation “on drug smuggling in a significant amount.”

In her final statement, Brittney Greiner said she had no intention of violating any Russian laws: “I had no intent, I did not plot or plan to commit this crime. I made an accidental mistake, but I hope that your sentence will not end my life here. I want the court to understand that this was an accidental mistake that I made in a hurry, under stress, trying to recover from COVID and just trying to get back to my team.”

“My parents taught me two important things: first, take responsibility and second, work hard for everything you have. That's why I pleaded guilty to the charges against me. I understand everything that was said against me and the accusations that are against me, and therefore I pleaded guilty,” said the American athlete.

Greiner also stated that Russia is her second home. “I never wanted to hurt anyone. I never wanted to endanger the Russians. I never meant to break any laws here. Once again, I want to apologize to my teammates and the UMMC club for any damage that I could have caused them. I never meant to hurt them. This is my second home, and all I wanted was to win championships for them and make them proud of me

She also apologized to her teammates in the American Women's Basketball League Phoenix Mercury.

The American basketball player also mentioned the fact that she was called a political pawn, meaning that from the beginning of her arrest, there were rumors that the purpose of her detention was a further exchange. “Everyone keeps talking about political pawn and politics, but I hope this trial is not under that influence.”