Khimki, Russia-US basketball star Britney Griner’s Russian drug trial should end ‘soon’, says her lawyers as Kremlin warns US megaphone diplomacy won’t secure 31-year prisoner exchanges said Tuesday – Old Texan.
Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) star, discovered vape cartridges containing hash oil in her luggage at Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow on February 17. I was restrained while I was inside.
She has pleaded guilty to drug charges against herself but denies she had any intention of breaking Russian law. She faces up to 10 years in prison.
Attorney Maria Blagovolina, a partner at the Rybalkin, Gortsunyan, Dyakin and Partners law firm, said a ruling in the case was expected “soon.” Defense attorneys and prosecutors are scheduled to hold closing arguments on Thursday.
The lawsuit against Mr. Griner has highlighted tensions between Russia and the United States that have plunged to new post-Cold War lows over Russia’s actions in Ukraine.
Blagovorina said Griner had heard Secretary of State Antony Blinken called that Washington had made a “substantial offer” to Moscow to release American citizens detained in Russia. .
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who had expressed surprise at the public nature of Brinken’s comments at the time, said on Tuesday that any talk of a possible exchange would need to be cautious.
“I still believe that any exchange of information on this topic should be done with caution,” Peskov said at a press conference. “Megaphone diplomacy and public exchanges of opinion do not lead to results.”
‘The end is near’
At the Khimki district court outside Moscow in a plain khaki T-shirt and round-rimmed glasses, Griner was focused and nervous as the trial drew to a close, her lawyer said.
“She still knows the end of[the trial]is near, and of course she heard the news, so she hopes one day she can go home,” said Bragobolina.
One source said Washington wanted an exchange for convicted arms trafficker Viktor Bout, known as the “Merchant of Death.”
Blagovorina said the exchange was “legally possible” after the ruling, which is expected by mid-August.
Griner testified last week that he didn’t understand how the vape cartridges ended up in his luggage, and speculated that he accidentally stuffed them in as he rushed to leave.
Griner was on her way to join her Russian team UMMC Yekaterinburg for the playoffs after spending time at home in the United States.