Griner appeal hearing set for Oct. 25 in Moscow
WNBA star Brittney Griner’s appeal hearing in Moscow has been set for Oct. 25 after she was sentenced to nine years in prison for possessing cannabis oil at a Moscow airport.
The Associated Press reported on Monday that a regional court in Moscow will proceed with the basketball star’s appeal. Griner, a member of the WNBA’s 25th-anniversary team, was convicted on August 4 after pleading guilty.
Although Griner has admitted to having vape cartridges in her carry-on luggage, her legal team plans to present written statements that the cannabis oil was medically prescribed to help Griner treat pain she sustained throughout her playing career, the AP reported.
The 31-year-old All-Star athlete has been detained in Russia since February, when she was arrested just days after Russia invaded Ukraine.
The Biden administration has made Griner’s case one of its top priorities, saying that both Griner and Paul Whelan, a former U.S. Marine detained in Russia on espionage charges, are wrongfully detained in the country.
U.S. officials in August floated the idea of a possible prisoner exchange in which Griner and Whelan would be released to the U.S. and a notorious convicted Russian arms trafficker would be sent back to Russia.
President Biden met with the families of Griner and Whelan at the White House last month, promising to continue efforts to bring the pair back home safely.