Condenan a Brittney Griner a 9 años de prisión en Rusia por contrabando de drogas

(CNN) –– Brittney Griner, the American basketball player detained in Russia, was sentenced this Thursday to 9 years in prison in a Moscow tribunal for drug trafficking with criminal intent. The sentence occurs amid concerns that the WNBA star is being used as a political pawn in Russia’s war against Ukraine.

The judge Anna Sotnikova also paid the athlete 1 million rubles (approximately 16,400 dollars). Y adagíó que la corte tuvo en cuenta su admission parcial de culpabilidad, remordimiento por el hecho, estado de salud y actividades caritativas. Los fiscales del caso habian pedido 9 años y medio de cárcel en los arguments de cierre.

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Brittney Griner is waiting for the verdict of the judge inside the jail of the accused in Khimki, in the suburbs of Moscow, on the 4th of August. (Credit: EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Griner was detained in February at an airport in Moscow, when the authorities found less than one gram of cannabis oil in his equipment, according to Russian prosecutors.

Los abogados de Brittney Griner, Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov, informed in a communiqué after the conviction that the court ignored all the evidence that they presented and that they will appeal the decision.

“Estamos muy decepciodos por el verdict. Como profesionales del derecho, creemos que la corte debe ser justa para todos, independiente de su nationalidad. El tribunal ignoró por completo todas las pruebas de la defense. Y, lo que es más importante, la declaration de culpabilidad”, they said in the pronunciamiento.

“Cometí un error honesto y espero que su fallo no termine con mi vida aquí”

Antes de conocerse el fallo, Griner se disculpó ante la corte y pidió clemencia en un emotivo discurso. “Nunca quise lastimar a nadie, nunca quise poner en peligro a la población rusa, nunca quise infringir ninguna ley aquí”, said the sportswoman in the tribunal of the city of Khimki.

Griner, who arrived at the tribunal espousada, continued: “Cometí un honesto error y espero que su fallo no termine con mi vida aquí. Sé que todos siguen hablando de peón politico y de política. Pero espero que eso esté lejos de esta sala del tribunal “, he continued.

(Credit: EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Luego insistió en que “no tenía intenía de infringir ninguna ley rusa. No tenía intenencia. No conspiré ni plané commiter este delito”, agregó.

“Es por eso que me declaré culpable de mis cargos. Entiendo todo lo que se ha dicho en mi contra, los cargos en mi contra y por eso me declaré culpable. Pero tenía la intenía de violar ninguna ley rusa”, completó.

At the beginning of July, Griner declared himself guilty of the charges of contrabando de drogas en un intento por mitigar su sentencia. Su arresto y posterior juicio desataron la indignación internacional, while el Departamento de Estado de EE.UU. ha qualified su detención de ilícita.

Biden: “Es unacceptable” he condemned

El veredicto llega approximately seis meses después de que a la deportista estrella de 31 años fuera detenida y los fiscales rusos la accusaran de attemptar contrabandear menos de 1 gramo de aceite de cannabis en su equipaje.

The president of the United States, Joe Biden, said that the prison sentence that Griner received was “unacceptable”. “Today, the American citizen Brittney Griner received a prison sentence that is a record of more than what the world knew: Russia is unjustly detaining Brittney. It is unacceptable, and I ask Russia to release her immediately before she can be with su esposa, seres queridos, amigos y compañeros de equipo,” Biden said in a communique.

Momentos después, the director of strategic communications of the National Security Council, John Kirby, echoed Biden’s comments. “Esta sentencia, este juicio simply reaffirma lo que hemos dicho todo el tiempo: Brittney ha sido detenida unjustamente y las authoridades rusas deben liberarla de immediato para que pueda estar en casa”. Y adagíó que “el presidente se mantendrá 100% compromise para lograr ese resultado”, Kirby dijo durante una apparition en MSNBC.

In this sense, he pointed out the “proposal series” of the United States before an intercambio de prisioneros con los rusos. “Instamos a los rusos, nuevamente, a considerar seriente esa propuesta, a actuar en consecuencia. Y llevemos a estos dos estudiantes a casa donde pertenecen,” said Kirby.

In the midst of the sportswoman’s trial in Russia, CNN reported exclusively on July 27 that Joe Biden’s government offered Russia a prisoner exchange that included Griner and also the American detainee Paul Whelan, in exchange for a trafficker. armas russo que paya una sentencia de 25 años en EE.UU. Una propuesta que, dijeron los abogados de la basquetbolista en su momento, los tomó por sorpresa.

The case against Brittney Griner in Russia

Griner was detained last February 17 at the Sheremetyevo International Airport after which the authorities discovered less than a gram of cannabis oil in his equipment, according to Russian prosecutors.

Brittney Griner is escorted to a courtroom in Moscow before hearing the verdict of her trial on August 4, 2022. (Crédito: KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Griner testified last week in his judgment that there was no lawyer present and that he did not explain his rights, but that according to the Russian law, he must occur in the first three hours. Esos derechos incluirían el de saber de qué era sospechosa y el de tener acceso a un abogado defensor desde el momento en que la detuvenor, que inclued la possibility de una reunión privada antes del primer interrogatorio por parte de las authorities.

In addition, Griner said that he signed documents that were not clear to her and that he had to use the Google translator on his phone before trying to understand what happened.

The detention, registration and arrest of Griner were “indebidos”, sostuvo en una de las audiencias Alexander Boykov, uno de los abogados de la basketballista. Este jueves Boykov, argued that the basketball player did not have the opportunity to adequately review the judicial documents. Know that the constitution of Russia guarantees everyone the right to use their native language and the free choice of communication language.

The case of Brittney Griner: the solution of Joe Biden 1:08

También en los finales de este jueves, Maria Blagovolina, abogada de la deportista, argued that Griner never utilized marijuana in Russia and that never had the intention of doing it. No tuvo necesidad de traer los cartridges de vaporizador al país, agregó.

Y explicó que todo esto confirma la total ausencia de intention en sus acciones. Incluso si Griner alguna vez usó medical marijuana, fue solo en su casa en Arizona, de manera inúsival y solo con receta médica, agregó. No podía saber cuán estricas eran las leyes en Rusia, completó Blagovolina.

En su testimonio de la semana pasada, la medallista olympica pointed out that she was already aware of the drug laws in Russia and that the cannabis oil ended in her equipment due to the fact that she “packed under stress”, a toda prisa. “Todavía no entiendo hasta el día de hoy cómo quedó en mis maletas,” said Griner.

Brittney Griner: Conozco y respeto las leyes de Rusia

In that statement, Griner “confirmed that he had a medical prescription for the use of medicinal cannabis”, that “it is a fairly popular treatment among professional athletes. He emphasized that he never planned to bring it to Russia nor use it”, explained lawyer Maria Blagovolina in Los Angeles. journalist después de la audiencia de la semana pasada.

Una lesion en la rodilla forced her to be in a wheelchair for four months, Griner reported to the tribunal, and she used the substance for inflamed joints of the knee and ankle. The athlete also insisted on not using it antes de los torneos para evitar possible desqualificaciones.

“No, nunca me arriesgaría a eso. Nunca quise afectar a mi equipo,” said Griner. Previously, sus abogados señalaron que a la basquetbolista le practicaron una prueba de drogas y los resultados salieron limpios.

Griner “explicó a la corte que conoce y respeta las leyes de Rusia y nunca tuvo la intención de violarlas,” said Blagovolina. Griner also said in the tribunal that she enjoyed playing basketball in this country during the low season of the WNBA and that her club, UMMC Ekaterinburg, became her second home, the lawyer added.

La propuesta de un intercambio por Brittney Griner

In the midst of Griner’s detention and trial, several months of internal debate in the Biden government culminated in an offer from the United States at the end of July before Griner and Whelan exchanged — whose prison sentence in Russia was denounced as unjust but Washington–– but the convicted arms trafficker Viktor Bout, según dijeron a CNN persons que tienen conocimiento de la proposal.

The plan received the support of President Joe Biden and canceled the opposition of the Department of Justice, which generally objected to the exchange of prisoners, according to sources.

The Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, said last week that Biden was “directly involved” and signed the proposal “presentada en Moscú”. Pero se negó a proporciar más detalles oa confirmar que Bout hace parte de la proposal. Blinken said that he also intends to speak with the Minister of Foreign Relations of Russia, Sergey Lavrov, in the coming days. This series is your first conversation since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Los abogados de Griner, Blagovolina y Boykov, who learned about the possible exchange initially through news reports, said this moment. Aunque no participaron en esas discusiones, los dos señalaron que estírá satisfiedos con cualquier resultado productivo.

Chris Liakos, Travis Caldwell, Dakin Andone, Abby Phillip, Kaitlan Collins, Evan Perez, Jennifer Hansler, Kylie Atwood, Michael Conte, Christian Sierra, DJ Judd, Shawna Mizelle, AnneClaire Stapleton y Brynn Wierbowski, todos de CNN, contribueron a este informe .

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