Brittney Griner will make another court appearance in Russia

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CNN
 — 

Brittney Griner, WNBA’s star, will make another court appearance on Thursday. She pleaded guiltyA Russian court near Moscow will charge you with drug offenses.

Two-time US Olympic basketball gold winner was February 17, 2007 – ArrestA week ago, at Moscow Airport Russia invaded Ukraine. Russian authorities claimed that she had cannabis oil in the bag. They also accused her of smuggling substantial amounts of a narcotic substance. This is a crime punishable by up 10 years in prison.

As many people in the hearing come as in the WNBATogether with other athletes, coaches and politicians, have called for Griner’s release over fears she is being used as a political pawn amid the war in Ukraine. Griner has been wrongfully held by the US State Department.

Griner alsoI wrote a letterTo President Joe Biden, in which she stated that she fears being detained in Russia indefinitely. She also pleaded with the President to not forget her and other American detainees.

“I realize you are dealing with so much, but please don’t forget about me and the other American Detainees. Please do all you can to bring us home,” Griner wrote. “I voted for the first time in 2020 and I voted for you. I believe in you. I still have so much good to do with my freedom that you can help restore.”

It is not clear if Thursday’s hearing will result in a verdict, or if the trial could drag on into further hearings. According to state news agency RIA Novosti, Griner confessed guilt at the last hearing. However, she stated that she did not intend to commit a crime.

During Thursday’s hearing, the court could force the defense to expand further on her intention, or they could move on to sentencing her, US officials said.

Griner’s lawyers expect the court to take into account the 31-year-old athlete’s guilty plea and hope for leniency, Alexander Boykov and Maria Blagovolina told journalists last week.

Boykov said that samples taken from Griner didn’t contain any trace of drugs. “She was clean, and she was tested,” the lawyer said.

Griner’s legal team said it was her decision to plead guilty, adding that she “sets an example of being brave.”

“She decided to take full responsibility for her actions as she knows that she is a role model for many people,” their statement read.

“Considering the nature of her case, the insignificant amount of the substance and BG’s personality and history of positive contributions to global and Russian sport, the defense hopes that the plea will be considered by the court as a mitigating factor and there will be no severe sentence.”

Her lawyers stated that they expected the trial to conclude around the beginning August.

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