It’s been a month since Brittney Griner was sentenced to nine years imprisonment on Russian soil, and now the WNBA star is waiting for an appeal process in the Russian court.
Brittney Griner was arrested on charges of smuggling drugs into Russia, and on August 4, she was sentenced to nine years in prison which is just a year less than the maximum prison sentence of 10 years.
The WNBA star’s lawyer Maria Blagovolina, a partner at Rybalkin Gortsunyan Dyakin and Partners, said Brittney Griner is very stressed and has a growing concern about her future.
Though her lawyer calls the punishment “absolutely unreasonable,” her legal team will appeal the verdict.
Brittney Griner and her legal team are waiting for when the appeal hearing will start, and they are unsure whether the appeal will be successful or not. So far, no appeal on Russian soil has even been made to change the prison sentence, but still, they are trying their best on what can be done.
Brittney Griner’s additional lawyer Alexander Boykov, from the Moscow Legal Center, also expressed that once the appeal starts, the process will take several months as it is not very fast.
Additionally, there is still a chance that Griner will take part in an American-Russian prisoner swap. In July, the Joe Biden administration and Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that negotiations are underway with Russia to exchange the WNBA star and Paul Whelan, another American detained in Russia, for a yet-to-be-identified Russian prisoner being held in the United States.
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The future of the two-time Olympic gold medalist’s life is unknown whether she will get an appeal or will she, be swapped with the American-Russian prisoner swap, or she has to live her next nine years in a Russian prison.
Her lawyer Blagovolina said, when Brittney Griner learned about the possible prisoner swap between the two countries, she was very happy that she had not been forgotten. There is a possible development on it. But she is hoping that things will all be set.
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