Brittney Griner pleads guilty to drug possession in a Russian court and remains uncertain about her future

Photo: Yuri Kochetkov / EFE

American basketball player Brittney Griner, charged in Russia with drug possession and smuggling, He pleaded guilty Thursday in a Moscow court..

The athlete, who used a translator during the Khimki Court session, admitted all the charges, although stated that he did not intend to commit a crimeaccording to the Interfax agency.

Griner admitted possession of cannabis

Griner explained the presence of cannabis oil in his luggage with the haste with which he packed his bags to travel to Russia.

The next hearing of the trial, in which the sentence is expected, will be held on July 14.

In Thursday’s session, the court took statements from two prosecution witnesses who participated in the search of the athlete’s belongings at Russian customs.

Letter from Joe Biden to Brittney Griner

The charge d’affaires of the US Embassy in Russia, Elizabeth Rood handed the basketball player a letter from US President Joe Bidenas he told the press.

I managed to converse with Mrs. Griner in the courtroom. He told me that he eats well, has the opportunity to read books and assured that, taking into account the circumstances, everything is going well for him. The most important thing is that I managed to get Mrs. Griner a letter from President Biden and she got to read that letter,” she stated.

The US president telephoned Griner’s family on Wednesdayafter receiving numerous criticisms for not having responded earlier to a letter that the athlete sent him on Monday.

According to the White House, Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris spoke by phone with Griner’s wife, Cherelle, to assure her that they are working to free his wife as soon as possible, as well as other Americans “wrongfully” arrested in Russia.

Biden also read Cherelle the draft of the letter he wrote to Griner.

Moscow remains firm and accused Washington of creating media noise

For its part, Moscow accused Washington of creating media noise around this case and pointed out that this does not help the negotiations between the two countries for an exchange of prisoners.

“We have mechanisms for negotiating these issues that have been established for a long time. We understand the attempts of the US side to stir up this situation, to make noise in the public space, but they do not help the practical solution of this matter,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said.

The senior Russian diplomatic representative recalled that the process against Griner has not concluded and until there is a verdict from a court, “there is no formal basis” to talk about next steps.

According to Riabkov, the persistence with which the US describes its citizens sentenced or prosecuted in Russia as ‘detained persons’, “reflects Washington’s lack of desire to accept reality in an adequate way.”

“It is quite difficult to engage in a detailed negotiation of any type of exchange” between prisoners from both countries in the context of so many accusations, media noise and networks created by the US.

The Russian deputy foreign minister stressed that what will really help Griner is not the communications of the American president, Joe Biden, with his relatives“but serious attention by the US to the signals they receive from Russia, from Moscow, through specialized channels.”

Negotiation by the basketball player

The 31-year-old athlete, double world and Olympic champion with her country, was detained in February at Sheremetvo airport in Moscow after customs officials found cannabis oil among his belongings.

Subsequently, the basketball player was arrested for drug possession and smuggling and has been in preventive detention ever since.

Previously, it was learned that Russia and the United States They negotiate the exchange of the player for the Russian arms dealer Víktor But, known as the “merchant of death” and serving a sentence in an American prison.

But is serving 25 years in prison for, among other things, conspiring to kill US citizens and selling weapons to Colombia’s former FARC guerrilla organization.

Russia and the US recently exchanged US student Trevor Reed, sentenced to nine years in prison for resisting arrest, for Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko, sentenced in the US to 20 years for drug smuggling.

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