WNBA star Greener arrives in Russian court for drug royalties trial

Moscow — American basketball star Brittney Griner, who was put in jail, returned to a Russian court on Thursday and faced her trial on suspicion of drugs.

Greener’s trial began last week with growing calls for Washington to do more to secure her release about five months after her arrest.

Greener was detained at Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow in February after an arc canister containing hemp oil was found in his luggage. If she is convicted of a large transport of drugs, she will face up to 10 years in prison.

The Phoenix Mercury star and two Olympic gold medalist trials have been postponed after the start of last week due to the absence of two scheduled witnesses. Such delays are common in Russian courts, and her detention has been approved until 20 December, suggesting that the proceedings may last for several months.

It was unclear if Greener would testify on Thursday.

Greener’s supporters were initially unobtrusive, but have called on the United States to take action after the first day of the trial.

The State Department has designated her as illegally detained and has moved her case under the supervision of a special presidential envoy on hostage issues, effectively the government’s head of hostage negotiations.

However, Washington did not disclose its strategy in this case, and the United States may have little influence over Moscow due to the strong hostility of Russia’s military action in Ukraine. According to the White House, President Joe Biden called Grinner’s wife on Wednesday to assure her that she was doing everything she could to get her athlete’s release as soon as possible. They spoke after Biden read the letter from Greener.

Rev. Al Sharpton, one of America’s most prominent black activists, called on Biden this week to arrange a prayer meeting with Greener. Please go home. “

The organization, Win With Black Women, said Secretary of State Antony Blinken “called Britney’s wife, Cherelle Griner, to guarantee her and publicly state that Britney’s safe return was a personal priority.” I sent a letter to Biden. It doesn’t seem to match the actions taken so far. We encourage you to make a deal to get Britney back home quickly. “

Russian news media have repeatedly speculated that Grinner could be exchanged for the Russian weapons merchant Victor Bout, who is known as the “merchant of death.” Terrorist organization.

Russia has instigated the release of Bout for many years. However, a major discrepancy between Grinner’s alleged crime and the global trade in Bout’s deadly weapons could make such an exchange unpalatable to Washington.

Others have suggested that a spy conviction, which the United States has repeatedly described as a setup, could be traded with former Marines and security chief Paul Weeran, who have been sentenced to 16 years in Russia. There is.

Russia is showing no signs of retreat.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexei Zaitsev said on Wednesday, “This is a serious crime and has been confirmed by indisputable evidence.

“It’s against the law and discussions about the innocent nature of Greener’s addiction, by the way, are punished in some US states, but in this case it’s inappropriate,” he said.

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov warned Thursday that “the US’s attempt to make a public noise … does not help in a practical solution to the problem.” The Russian judicial system “makes it difficult to have a detailed discussion of possible exchanges,” he said.

“There is no formal or procedural reason to talk about further steps,” Ryabkov said until the end of Grinner’s trial.

WNBA star Greener arrives in Russian court for drug royalties trial

Source link WNBA star Greener arrives in Russian court for drug royalties trial

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