Brittney Griner to testify in trial, lawyers say

Brittney Griner to testify in trial, lawyers say

“Griner will testify tomorrow, and just after that, it really is her selection regardless of whether she answers any thoughts or not,” Alexander Boykov, a law firm for Griner, informed CNN on Tuesday. Prosecutors also will have an chance to issue Griner.

The two-time Olympic gold medalist manufactured a transient court appearance at the Khimki court docket of the Moscow location on Tuesday wherever her defense group offered proof.

Griner, 31, pleaded responsible to drug prices earlier this month but the US Condition Department says she is wrongfully detained. She faces up to 10 decades in jail. Griner’s supporters have known as for her release above fears she is currently being employed as a political pawn amid Russia’s war on Ukraine.

At Tuesday’s hearing, which lasted about an hour, a narcologist introduced in by Griner’s legal professionals stated that primarily based on the WNBA player’s prescription, it is likely Griner utilised the hashish oil identified in her baggage for health care uses relatively than recreational applications.

The narcologist, Mikhail Tetyushkin, discussed that “health-related hashish is a well known cure specifically among the athletes” in lots of countries outdoors Russia.

Tetyushkin offered the court docket with info on the use of clinical cannabis by athletes, declaring that the repeated use of cannabinoids is incompatible with experienced sports activities thanks to the outcome of relaxation and inhibition of reaction occasions.

He also explained to the court on Tuesday that there is no global regular on the quantity of cannabinoids in medical marijuana.

Griner’s lawyer, Maria Blagovolina, advised the court docket that an first report from the prosecution’s qualified witness was “inconsistent” and not according to scientific and lawful requirements.

Blagovolina mentioned the report from the prosecution’s pro witness did not decide the quantitative information of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the hashish oil discovered in Griner’s luggage. THC is the principal psychoactive material in cannabis.

When the listening to concluded, Blagovolina stated Tetyushkin “spelled out that in various international locations — particularly in the US — health-related hashish is a common treatment method precisely among athletes.”

“Consequently, with the prescription in area, Brittney may perhaps have used it for healthcare but not leisure purposes,” Blagovolina extra.

Tuesday’s listening to, the fifth so much in Griner’s felony trial, was attended by US Embassy Cost d’Affaires Elizabeth Rood.

Speaking to press exterior the courtroom, Rood told reporters that Griner confirmed that she is undertaking as “perfectly as can be anticipated underneath these circumstances.”

The trial is envisioned to finish early subsequent month, Griner’s lawyers have reported.

Griner detained considering that February

Megan Rapinoe and Steph Curry among stars to call for Brittney Griner's release at ESPY Awards

The Phoenix Mercury basketball star was arrested in February at a Moscow airport with a lot less than a gram of cannabis oil in her baggage. Griner, who performs in Russia during the WNBA’s offseason, has been held considering that then on drug smuggling prices. Her trial began in early July.

A prosecutor at the begin of her trial in Moscow accused Griner of deliberately smuggling the medicines into Russia.
Griner explained to a court docket that she had not intended to commit a crime and that it was the result of her packing in a hurry, state information agency RIA Novosti reported. Her protection group told Russian judges that she was approved medical hashish for “intense persistent suffering.”

The defense hopes the plea will be considered by the courtroom as a mitigating factor and the sentence would not be extreme.

The decision to plead guilty was designed by Griner alone, a resource shut to her has mentioned. But in latest weeks, Griner, her family members, lawyers and gurus experienced talked over this final decision thoroughly. Supplied the 99{c024931d10daf6b71b41321fa9ba9cd89123fb34a4039ac9f079a256e3c1e6e8} described conviction price in Russian criminal conditions, Griner was urged to weigh all the elements, which includes a plea that could ultimately outcome in a shorter sentence.

Some have speculated Griner could be produced and returned to the US in a prisoner swap, as was Trevor Reed, an American veteran detained in Russia for a few years before his launch in April.

Continue to, ahead of any prospective prisoner swap, it was predicted Griner would have to be convicted and also admit fault, a senior US official has instructed CNN. Reed experienced to indicator a document declaring he was responsible — a little something he experienced resisted for virtually the entirety of his detention — just days ahead of he was allow out, the formal stated.

‘Please really don’t overlook about me’

A lot of in the WNBA, alongside with other athletes, coaches and politicians, have named for Griner’s release. Griner wrote a letter to President Joe Biden that was shipped to the White Dwelling this month, saying she fears she will be detained in Russia indefinitely.

“I comprehend you are dealing with so significantly, but you should do not forget about me and the other American Detainees. Make sure you do all you can to carry us household,” Griner wrote. “I voted for the initial time in 2020 and I voted for you. I believe in you. I still have so significantly very good to do with my independence that you can assist restore.”

Griner has some supporters in Russia, exactly where she played through the WNBA offseason. A previous teammate alongside with the director of UMMC Ekaterinburg — the team Griner performed with in western Russia until finally her agreement expired soon after she was detained — testified at an before hearing.

“Brittney has generally been a very good teammate, which is why my function right here is to help her and be there for her,” staff captain Evgeniya Belyakova claimed soon after the listening to.

Belyakova, a previous captain of the Russian nationwide staff, extra, “We miss her and her vitality so a great deal. I was really glad to see her. I hope the method finishes shortly and ends effectively.”

This tale has been current with additional developments and history facts.

CNN’s Niamh Kennedy, Abby Phillip, Dakin Andone and Alaa Elassar contributed to this report.