US basketball star Brittney Griner testifies in Russian court | Courts News


Griner tells court docket when she was arrested, the translator didn’t clarify paperwork she was requested to signal, or relay all of her responses.

US basketball participant Brittney Griner has testified in a Russian court docket that she was not learn her rights when she was detained at a Moscow airport in February, as she stands trial for drug fees that would see her withstand 10 years in jail.

Throughout her testimony on Wednesday, the Ladies’s Nationwide Basketball Affiliation (WNBA) star described making a gruelling 13-hour flight to Moscow from Arizona whereas recovering from COVID-19. Griner mentioned she nonetheless doesn’t know the way the hashish oil ended up in her bag however defined she had a health care provider’s suggestion for it and had packed it in haste.

“My rights weren’t learn to me,” Griner mentioned at Khimki District Courtroom exterior Moscow, in accordance with a translator.

“I took my telephone out, known as household, my agent and a translator who works with the staff.”

Brittney Griner
WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medallist Brittney Griner mentioned she was not supplied sufficient translation on her arrest, when she was requested to signal paperwork in Russian [Evgenia Novozhenina/Pool via AP]

The 31-year-old, who has performed in Russia throughout the league’s offseason, was detained at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport on February 17 with vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her baggage.

Sporting a long-sleeved T-shirt from her WNBA staff, the Phoenix Mercury, Griner testified that she was stopped at customs as she was about to board a flight to Ekaterinburg, a metropolis 1,400km (870 miles) east of the Russian capital.

Griner, a two-time Olympic champion, was on her option to be part of her Russian staff, UMMC Ekaterinburg, for the playoffs.

Griner mentioned officers eliminated vape cartridges from her baggage, and opened and sniffed their contents. She mentioned she was requested to signal paperwork and used Google Translate to know them.

The case in opposition to Griner has highlighted strained relations between Russia and america which have plunged to a brand new post-Chilly Conflict low over the Russian navy intervention in Ukraine.

US officers and distinguished athletes have mentioned Griner has been wrongly detained and have known as for her fast launch, saying she is getting used as a political pawn to safe the discharge of a Russian detained within the US or different concessions from Washington.

The Kremlin has mentioned the case in opposition to Griner has nothing to do with politics and that she ought to be tried for violating Russian legal guidelines.

Seated within the defendant’s cage on Wednesday, Griner mentioned she was supplied with a translator on the airport however he solely mentioned “signal this, signal that” with out explaining the content material of the paperwork.

Griner pleaded responsible earlier within the trial however denied she meant to interrupt Russian regulation.

Griner’s trial began July 1, and Wednesday was her first look as a witness. The court docket exterior Moscow held 5 earlier classes that have been brief, some lasting solely about an hour.

Brittney Griner
If convicted of the drug fees Brittney Griner might obtain a sentence of 10 years in jail [Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool via AP]

It’s unclear how lengthy the trial will final, however a court docket has authorised Griner’s detention till December 20.

Throughout Tuesday’s court docket session of about 90 minutes, a Russian neuropsychologist testified in regards to the worldwide use of medicinal hashish. Griner’s defence staff has submitted a US physician’s letter recommending the basketball participant use medical hashish to deal with ache.

Griner testified Wednesday that she was affected by ache from accidents sustained throughout her basketball profession. She emphasised that hashish oil is extensively used within the US for medicinal functions and has fewer destructive results than another painkillers

A Russian overseas ministry spokesperson mentioned final week that the legalisation of hashish for medical and leisure use in components of the US had no bearing on what occurs in Russia.

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