Britney Griner will serve nine years in a Russian prison. (KIRILL KUDRYEUTSEV/AFP via Getty Images)

Britney Griner’s lawyers filed an appeal against her terrible nine-year sentence in a Russian prison.

Amazing American basketball, 31 years old, was arrested in February at the Moscow airport after cannabis casings were found in her luggage.

She was imprisoned on August 4 for drug possession and trafficking in a sentence that US President Joe Biden called “unacceptable“.

Maria Blagovolina, a partner at the law firm Rybalkin Hartsunian Dyakin & Partners, which represents Griner, filed an appeal against the verdict on Monday (August 15). Reuters informed.

It was the last day when Griner’s defense could challenge the sentence handed down by the Khimki City Court earlier in August. The appeal is likely to take three months, her lawyers added.

Griner, who played for the Russian team Ekaterinburg during the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) offseason, had little chance of being vindicated by Russian authorities, her legal team had long warned.

They were trying to soften up the Phoenix Mercury player the inevitable verdict, finding her guiltywhich, in their opinion, judge Anna Sotnikova did not take into account properly in her decision.

The appeal comes as a conversation about a prisoner exchange between the White House and the Kremlin begins to gain momentum.

The release of Viktor Bout has been a priority of the Russian government for a long time. (Chumsak Kanoknan/Getty Images)

This was reported to the Russian state agency by the chief Russian diplomat Alexander Darchiev TASS that Russia is seeking the release of imprisoned arms dealer Victor Bout in exchange for Griner and former US Marine Paul Whelan.

“Discussion of the rather sensitive issue of the exchange of prisoners between Russian and American citizens continues through the channels determined by the presidents of the two countries,” said the director of the North American Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry, referring to the established return channel. Biden and Russian Vladimir Putin.

For years, Russia has been waiting for the release of Bout, the so-called “merchant of death,” who is serving a 25-year sentence in federal prison. He was accused sales of lethal weapons to al-Qaeda, the Taliban and Rwandan militants.

Britney GreenerBooth’s belief is not exactly comparable to Booth’s belief. She was detained at Sheremetyevo International Airport on February 17 on the way to Yekaterinburg. Airport security found vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage, which Griner called “an honest mistake.”

“I want to apologize to my teammates, my club, my fans and the city [Yekaterinburg] for the mistake I made and the embarrassment I caused them,” Griner said in her final statement in court.

“I also want to apologize to my parents, my siblings, the Phoenix Mercury organization at home, the amazing women of the WNBA and my wonderful husband and wife at home.

“I made an honest mistake, and I hope that in your judgment it will not end my life here.”

Brittney Griner: Lawyers file appeal against nine-year Russian jail sentence

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