The Khimki Court of the Moscow Region sentenced American basketball player Brittney Griner to 9 years in prison for drug smuggling and possession. The court also imposed a fine of 1 million rubles on her.
The public prosecutor asked for her punishment in the form of imprisonment for a term of 9.5 years. According to the judge, she saw no aggravating circumstances in the case. As mitigating court mentioned the merits of the athlete, her personality and charity work.
“The court found the defendant guilty under Part 1 of Art. 228 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (illegal transportation of drugs without the purpose of sale.— “b”) and part 2 of Art. 229.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (smuggling of narcotic drugs in a significant amount.— “b”) … Brittney Yvette Greiner committed illegal possession and transportation of drugs through the customs zone, ”Judge Anna Sotnikova began the announcement of the verdict (quoted by TASS and Interfax).
In Russia, the American played for the Yekaterinburg club UMMC. On February 17, 2022, she flew to Moscow at Sheremetyevo Airport on a flight from New York. In the luggage of the basketball player, electronic cigarettes with hash oil were found. It is prohibited in Russia.
Lawyer Maria Blagovolina stated that in Greiner’s homeland it is allowed to use hashish for medical purposes. She allegedly brought the drug to Russia by mistake.
“Hashish was found in small cartridges that are easy to forget in a bag. Add here the stress from the flight on the route Yekaterinburg – Moscow – New York – Phoenix and back and the general tense situation in the world. After all, by the time Greiner arrived, the State Department had already recommended that American citizens not visit the Russian Federation. And now my client brings hash oil through inattention, ”said the lawyer at the trial (quoted by TASS).
According to the American media, President Joe Biden approved the idea of exchanging the Russian Viktor Bout, who is serving a prison sentence in the United States, for Greiner, as well as for the American Paul Whelan, previously convicted of espionage. The Russian authorities reported that there were no agreements on such an exchange.
About the situation around Greiner – in the material “b-FM” “Reason for the American “hawks””.