Brittney Griner has been found guilty.
A Russian court just found Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner guilty of drug possession and smuggling charges on Thursday, according to Jennifer Hansler of CNN.
MORE: The court said that Griner committed the crime deliberately. Although Griner pleaded guilty, she testified she did not intend to bring the small amount of cannabis into the country, and that it had been prescribed by a doctor.
— Jennifer Hansler (@jmhansler) August 4, 2022
The judge sentenced her to nine years in prison. Prosecutors had earlier asked for a sentence of nine-and-a-half years.
BREAKING: WNBA star Brittney Griner sentenced to 9 years in jail on drug charges in Russian court. https://t.co/igIRg3WQEw
— NBC News (@NBCNews) August 4, 2022
Griner made a statement to the court during the closing arguments, via CNN:
“I never meant to hurt anybody, I never meant to put in jeopardy the Russian population, I never meant to break any laws here. I made an honest mistake and I hope that in your ruling that it doesn’t end my life here. I know everybody keeps talking about political pawn and politics, but I hope that that is far from this courtroom. I want to say again that I had no intent on breaking any Russian laws. I had no intent. I did not conspire or plan to commit this crime.”
President Joe Biden issued a statement on the verdict as well:
“Today, American citizen Brittney Griner received a prison sentence that is one more reminder of what the world already knew: Russia is wrongfully detaining Brittney. It’s unacceptable, and I call on Russia to release her immediately so she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends, and teammates. My administration will continue to work tirelessly and pursue every possible avenue to bring Brittney and Paul Whelan home safely as soon as possible.”
WNBA star Brittney Griner was detained at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport back in February after vape cartridges containing hashish oil were found in her luggage.
Griner has always said that she never intended to bring illegal substances into Russia.
Hopefully Biden can bring Brittney home.
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