August 8, 2022

KEY POINTS

  • Griner stated an interpreter did not translate what authorities had been saying when she was being detained
  • She stated officers didn’t clarify what the papers she was requested to signal had been for
  • Her detention first grew to become public on March 5

Brittney Griner, the American basketball star who has been detained in Russia since February, testified in a Russian courtroom in her trial on a drug-possession cost that might see her resist 10 years in jail. 

In her first testimony Wednesday, Griner stated she landed from a 13-hour flight when she was detained on the Sheremetyevo Worldwide Airport in Khimki, Russia, after Moscow police discovered vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her baggage, which is taken into account unlawful within the nation, Fox Information reported.  

Griner stated an interpreter did not translate most of what the Russian authorities had been saying whereas she was being detained. The American basketball star additionally stated the officers requested her to signal paperwork with out clarification about what the papers had been.

“Translations weren’t superb. I bear in mind one time seeing a stack of papers that he was imagined to switch to me, and he checked out me in a quick second, and his actual phrases had been mainly, ‘You’re responsible,'” Griner was quoted as saying by Fox Information.

Griner additionally argued that Russian officers didn’t give her any clarification of her rights or offered her entry to a lawyer within the preliminary hours of her detention. Whereas she has pleaded responsible to drug-possession prices levied towards her, Griner stated she had a health care provider’s suggestion to make use of medical marijuana and that she unintentionally introduced hashish oil to Russia when she was packing in a rush.

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Griner flew to Moscow in hopes of returning to play on the Russian Girls’s Basketball Premier League in the course of the Girls’s Nationwide Basketball Affiliation’s (WBNA) low season. 

“My profession is my entire life,” she stated, in line with ESPN. “I devoted every part — time, my physique, time away from my household. I spent six months out of the yr away from everyone, and with an enormous time distinction.”

Griner has been in Russian custody since Feb. 17. Nevertheless, the Russian Federal Customs Service didn’t make her detention public till March 5, greater than per week after the invasion of Ukraine started.

The U.S. State Division in Could argued that Griner is being “wrongfully detained” in Russia, a declare that Russian International Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova later dismissed. 

“If a U.S. citizen was taken in reference to the truth that she was smuggling medicine, and she or he doesn’t deny this, then this ought to be commensurate with our Russian native legal guidelines, and never with these adopted in San Francisco, New York and Washington,” Zakharova stated. “If medicine are legalized in the USA, in plenty of states, and that is carried out for a very long time and now the entire nation will turn out to be drug-addicted, this doesn’t imply that every one different international locations are following the identical path.”

The Biden administration is now engaged on a possible deal that may contain exchanging convicted Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout for the discharge of Griner and Paul Whelan, a former U.S. Marine who has been detained in Russia since 2019.

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Brittney Griner faces as much as a decade behind bars in Russia on prices of smuggling hashish vape cartridges Photograph: AFP / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV

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