Moscow Regional Court upholds 9-year prison sentence for American basketball player

Moscow, Oct 25 (UNI) The Moscow Regional Court on Tuesday upheld the sentencing of American basketball player Brittney Griner to nine years in prison for smuggling hash oil, a Sputnik correspondent reported.
“The verdict was changed in terms of the length of stay in the pre-trial detention center in a day and a half, otherwise the verdict remained unchanged,” said judge Elena Vorontsova.
The basketball player herself took part in the meeting by videoconference from the Novoe Grishino remand center, located on the territory of a settlement near Moscow. She’s been there since March.
Griner said in his final speech that “nine years in prison is too much…and people who commit more heinous crimes get shorter sentences.” The athlete asked to pay attention to “those omissions that were made in the previous case”, confirmed that she regretted her mistake, which she made without malicious intent.
The defense said it considered the sentence “extremely harsh and inappropriate to the gravity of the crime”, and also asked to consider the admission of guilt, the state of health of Griner and a positive response of the sports community. Lawyer Alexander Boikov asked to overturn the verdict or impose a more lenient sentence.
The prosecutor, in turn, requested the dismissal of the complaint, because “the arguments are not based on the rules of procedural law, all the evidence in support of the accusation is in accordance with the law”. Nevertheless, he agreed that the length of stay in the remand center be recalculated and that the day in the colony be counted as a day and a half in solitary confinement, in accordance with the law (which was finally done).
In addition to defense, the meeting brought together representatives of the American diplomatic mission, headed by the acting American charge d’affaires in Russia, Elizabeth Rood.

Elna M. Lemons