Britney Greiner is facing a 9-year sentence in a Russian prison after her conviction. Here’s what could come next for a WNBA star

Now, Greiner is back in the detention center where she was held during the weeks-long trial as her lawyers vowed to appeal the verdict and the Biden administration continues to try to negotiate her release.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters at a news conference on Friday that Russian officials are “ready to discuss” the prisoners held by the two countries, the RIA Novosti news agency quoted Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as telling reporters at a news conference on Friday.

“There is a specific channel that was agreed upon by the presidents, and no matter what anyone says publicly, this channel will remain in force,” RIA Novosti quoted Lavrov as saying.

During the trial, Greiner pleaded guilty to carrying less than 1 gram of cannabis oil in her luggage while traveling through Moscow airport on February 17. She testified in court that she was aware of Russia’s strict drug laws and had no intention of bringing cannabis. Country, saying she was in a hurry and “packaging stress”.

Her lawyers had hoped Greiner’s guilty plea and statements of remorse would lead to a more lenient sentence. She faced 10 years of charges, and prosecutors requested that she be sentenced to 9.5 years in prison. In addition to her nine-year prison sentence, Greiner must pay a fine of one million rubles, which is approximately $ 16,400.

“I made an honest mistake and I hope your judgment does not end my life here,” Greiner said in court before sentencing. “I know everyone keeps talking about political pawn and politics, but I hope it’s out of this courtroom.”

The US State Department has designated Greiner as unjustly detained. The Biden administration has offered to trade a convicted Russian arms dealer for Greiner and another American detainee, Paul Whelan, CNN reports.
After the verdict, Greiner’s agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, chirpToday’s sentencing of Britney Greiner was harsh by Russian legal standards and proves what we have known all along, that Britney is being used as a political tool.
President Joe Biden called the ruling “unacceptable” and demanded that she be returned to the United States for family reunification, according to a statement.

Here’s what comes next for Griner as she awaits her attorney’s appeal and the United States continues to negotiate for her release.

Lawyers will appeal the ‘unreasonable’ verdict

Griner’s legal team will appeal the court’s decision, which it must do within 10 days of the ruling, according to her attorneys, Alexander Boikov and Maria Blagovolina, partner at the law firms Rybalkin, Gortsunyan, Dyakin and Partners.

They said in “We are deeply disappointed with the verdict. As legal professionals, we believe that the court should be fair to everyone regardless of nationality. The court completely ignored all defense evidence and, most importantly, the guilty plea.” a permit.

They described the ruling as “totally unreasonable” and insisted that the decision “contradicts existing legal practices” in Russia.

Defense expert says checking substance in Brittney Griner's VAP cartridges violated Russian law

The average time in prison for this type of crime is five years, Blagovolina told reporters, adding that nearly a third of those convicted get parole.

During the trial, lawyers said Grenier’s arrest was handled inappropriately. Greiner testified that she was forced to sign documents she did not fully understand and did not obtain proper translations of the Russian paperwork.

A defense expert also testified that examining e-cigarette cartridges containing cannabis oil did not comply with Russian law.

The United States proposed a prisoner exchange in exchange for Greiner’s return

CNN reports that the Biden administration has proposed a prisoner exchange, offering to exchange convicted Russian arms smuggler Greiner and Whelan. Whelan, a US citizen and former Marine Corps commander, was sentenced to 16 years in prison in 2018 on espionage charges after a trial the United States deemed unfair.

Following the sentencing of Greiner, National Security Council Coordinator John Kirby said it was “up to the Russian side” whether the conviction would open the door to prisoner exchange negotiations.

Joe Biden calls Britney Grenier's sentence
After the United States proposed a prisoner exchange, Russia responded by requesting the release of convicted killer Vadim Krasikov, sources familiar with the discussions told CNN. The United States did not consider the counter as a legitimate proposition, in part because the request was made through an informal back channel.

Kirby on Thursday reiterated the US position that he still wanted Russia to “take the deal on the table because it’s good, it’s fair, and it’s going to help bring Paul (Whelan) and Britney home.”

While US officials have long opposed the prisoner trade, the successful release in April of Trevor Reed, an American and former Marine who had been imprisoned in Russia, drew bipartisan praise from lawmakers and was considered a political win for the Biden administration.

The family and supporters continue to fight for her return

The swap proposal comes after months of pressure from the Griner family and members of the basketball community.

The star’s wife, Sheryl Greiner, has been vocal about her desire for US officials to take more substantial measures to bring his wife home. Days after Sheryl Greiner expressed her frustration in an interview with CNN, Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris called her to reassure her that they were committed to securing her wife’s release, according to a White House call reading.

Griner has also had consistent support from her WNBA team, Phoenix Mercury, as well as other members of the basketball community.

Before the start of the Thursday night game between Mercury and the Connecticut Sun, members of both teams tied their arms in midfield and held a 42-second minute’s silence for Greener, who wears her 42-second jersey. After he finished, people in the crowd started chanting, “Bring her home! Bring her home!”

Allie Malloy, Chris Liakos, Natasha Bertrand, Frederik Pleitgen, Eric Levenson, Dakin Andone, Travis Caldwell, Jill Martin, Betsy Klein, Kate Sullivan and MJ Lee contributed to this report.

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