The White House on Tuesday has elaborated an upcoming appeals hearing for jailed United States basketball player Brittney Griner in Russia as a “sham.”
Griner, who was sentenced to nine years jail in August for possessing vape cartridges with a small quantity of cannabis oil, is due to go back to court on October 25.
The Press Secretary of the White House, Karine Jean-Pierre said that, “We are aware of Russia’s announced that Brittney Griner will be forced to undergo another sham judicial proceeding. She should be released immediately.”
In August, Moscow said that it was ready to discuss a prisoner swap for Griner, sparking hope of a rapid resolution. Whereas, talks have apparently since dried up with the White House stating that it has not received an answer to its “serious” proposal.
When she was detained, the two-time Olympic basketball gold medallist & Women’s NBA champion had been in Russia to take part and play for the professional Yekaterinburg team, in her off-season from the Phoenix Mercury.
Meanwhile, she pleaded guilty to the charges, but said she did not intend to break the law or use the restricted substance in Russia.
Moreover, Griner had testified that she was permitted from a US doctor to use medicinal cannabis to relieve pain from her many injuries & had never failed a drug test.
The use of medical marijuana is not allowed in Russia.