The American basketball star’s case has been caught up in the deep crisis between Moscow and Washington over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
A Russian court on Thursday found the American basketball star Brittney Griner guilty of an attempt to smuggle illegal narcotics into Russia, according to her lawyers. The verdict ended a closely watched trial that her supporters say made her a pawn in a tense geopolitical showdown over the war in Ukraine.
The verdict, virtually preordained in a legal system in which defendants are rarely acquitted, leaves Ms. Griner’s fate subject to diplomatic bargaining between Russia and the United States. The countries have been discussing the possibility of a prisoner exchange that would bring Ms. Griner home from Russia, where she has been detained since traveling there in mid-February.
Officials in Moscow have said that a verdict in her trial was a necessary precondition for a possible exchange for Ms. Griner, an Olympian who is one of the biggest stars of her generation. The United States has said she was wrongly detained, held by Russia as a bargaining chip amid the acrimony with the West over Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Approved ~ MJM
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Author: Mark JM
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