Brittney Griner found guilty in Russian court, sentenced to nine years in prison

Aug 4, 2022

Brittney Griner learned Thursday how long she could be locked away in Russian prison if the Biden administration can’t broker a deal to secure her release.

A Russian judge found Griner guilty of drug possession and smuggling with criminal intent and handed down a 9-year sentence, just shy of the maximum 10 years that she was eligible to receive. Griner was also fined 1 million rubles, roughly $16,300 US dollars.

As the judge announced Griner’s verdict in Russian, a translator relayed what was said to the WNBA star. Sitting inside a courtroom cell, a silent, stone-faced Griner listened with her lips pursed and her hands clasped in front of her.

Standing outside the courthouse, Elizabeth Rood, Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, called the ruling a "miscarriage of justice."

"Secretary of State Blinken, President Biden's national security team and the entire American government remain committed to bringing Miss Griner home safely to her family, friends and loved ones," Rood said.

In a joint statement, Griner's attorneys Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov said they were "disappointed by the verdict."

"As legal professionals, we believe that the court should be fair to everyone regardless of nationality. The court completely ignored all the evidence of the defense, and most importantly, the guilty plea," they said via the statement. "This contradicts the existing legal practice. Taking into account the amount of the substance (not to mention the defects of the expertise) and the plea, the verdict is absolutely unreasonable. We will certainly file an appeal."

Source: Yahoo Sports