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Brittney Griner Pleads Guilty To Russian Drug Charges But Denies Intentionally Breaking The Law

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Brittney Griner Pleads Guilty To Russian Drug Charges But Denies Intentionally Breaking The Law

American basketballer Brittney Griner has pleaded guilty to drug charges during her court proceeding in Russia.

However, she denied that she had intentionally broken the law. 

Griner was charged with drug smuggling four months ago when she was allegedly found carrying vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her luggage.

Griner spoke at the second hearing of her trial with a potential sentence of up to 10 years in jail. 

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She told the court, via Reuters: “I'd like to plead guilty, your honour. But there was no intent. I didn't want to break the law.

"I'd like to give my testimony later. I need time to prepare.”

Credit: REUTERS / Alamy
Credit: REUTERS / Alamy

 The next court hearing was scheduled for July 14.

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Griner’s lawyers are hoping to get a lenient sentence given the nature of the case, there being barely any amount of the substance, and her contributions to Russian sport.

Griner's attorney, Maria Blagovolina told reporters: “We, as her defence, explained to her the possible consequences. Brittney stressed that she committed the crime out of carelessness, getting ready to board a plane to Russia in a hurry, not intending to break Russian law.

"We certainly hope this circumstance, in combination with the defence evidence, will be taken into account when passing the sentence, and it will be mild."

Griner was detained just days before Vladimir Putin’s Russia invaded Ukraine, prompting many to believe she was simply being held as a ‘political pawn’. 

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​​In May, the US State Department classified Griner’s arrest as being wrongfully detained with the government's hostage affairs team working to get her home. 

Just a few days ago she pleaded in a handwritten note to US President Joe Biden to secure her release home.

She wrote: “I realise 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,” she added.

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Last month, photos did the rounds showing the WNBA player in handcuffs while at a court in Russia.

Las Vegas Aces star A’ja Wilson spoke about the circumstances and broke down in tears when discussing the situation. 

"I hated seeing it," Wilson said.

"It made my stomach turn."

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"BG’s our sister and I can't imagine what she's going through and I pray every single day that the people that are in high ups are doing what they need to do to get her home because it's unacceptable.

“And to see her like that, I can’t even put it into words.

“We talk about how great she is as a player, but that’s a person, that’s someone’s wife and she can’t even communicate with them.

“I just pray every day that she comes home and that she’s just healthy, because it’s so much deeper than the physical, it’s the mental, it’s the emotional.

“Anyone that knows BG knows her spirit is the best thing about her… and I hope that isn’t stripped from her.”

Featured Image Credit: Sipa US/ Alamy. Reuters/Alamy.

Topics: NBA, Basketball

Jayden Collins
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