US basketball star Brittney Griner has appealed in opposition to her nine-year jail sentence in Russia for drug possession.
The 2-time Olympic gold medalist was convicted in August after vape canisters containing hashish oil had been allegedly present in her baggage at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport.
A regional court docket in Moscow started listening to Griner’s enchantment on Tuesday. The 32-year-old is showing by way of video name from a detention centre close to Moscow.
Her arrest in February got here amid heightened tensions between Moscow and Washington, simply days earlier than Russia invaded Ukraine. The US has mentioned the case is politically motivated.
Griner has admitted that she had the canisters in her baggage however denied any prison intent and says she had been prescribed hashish to deal with ache.
The basketball star’s attorneys have additionally argued that her nine-year jail sentence was extreme.
Earlier than her conviction, the US officers declared that Griner was “wrongfully detained”. Russia has denied the claims.
US State Division spokesperson Ned Worth mentioned on Monday that Washington had “lively discussions” with Moscow to free Griner and former US Marine Paul Whelan, who’s serving 16 years in jail after being convicted of spying.