WNBA star Brittney Griner pleaded guilty to bringing hashish oil into Russia. This Thursday, Griner told the court that she was apologetic and did not mean to break the law.
“I’d like to plead guilty, your honour. But there was no intent. I didn’t mean to break the law,” Griner told the judge in English.
Griner is scheduled to be back in court on July 14th; she has asked the judge to allow her some time for her testimony.
Outside of the Russian court, Griner’s lawyer Maria Blagovolina told reporters that she hopes the courts provide some form of leniency.
“Considering all the circumstances of the case, taking into account the personality of our client, we believe that the admission of guilt should certainly be taken into account,” said Blagovolina.
Griner’s Been In Custody For Over 130 Days
The Mercury Phoneix star was detained on February 17th at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport; she had packed vape cartridges. In Russia, marijuana is illegal for recreational purposes.
Griner has been in Russian custody for over 130 days, with many WNBA and NBA stars calling for her release. Griner’s wife, Cherelle Griner, spoke with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America, pleading for the U.S. government to do something.
Griner wrote a heartfelt letter to President Joe Biden pleading for him to help with her release and not forget about the other American Detainees. In her letter, she admitted to President Biden that her first-ever vote was for him in the 2020 presidential election.
“On the 4th of July, our family normally honours the service of those who fought for our freedom, including my father who is a Vietnam War veteran,” Griner wrote.
Experts are saying her guilty plea of drug possession and smuggling was a strategy to help facilitate a prisoner swap which will bring Griner home. That’s because Russia is currently asking for the release of arms dealer Viktor Bout, who’s currently serving a 25-year sentence in a U.S. prison for supporting terrorism. However, there are advisors within the Biden administration that are reluctant to release Bout.