Basketball player Britney Greiner, detained in Russia for drug trafficking, pleads guilty

Moscow | American basketball player Britney Grenier announced Thursday at her trial that she pleaded guilty to drug smuggling, after she was arrested in February in possession of a liquid of cannabis at a Moscow airport.

• Read also: Biden spoke with wife Britney Graner

• Read also: Britney Greiner, imprisoned since February, wrote to Joe Biden

“I would like to plead guilty to all charges,” she told the court, adding that she “had no intention of violating Russian law.”

“I was in a rush while packing and accidentally ended up with cartridges in my bag,” she said, explaining that there was liquid from cannabis in her luggage.

Immediately after her speech, the hearing was adjourned until July 14, when she will be heard and questioned by the court.

The Phoenix Mercury player, who faces a severe prison sentence, was arrested in February when she arrived at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport with, according to prosecutors, vaporizers and liquids from cannabis.

Britney Greiner was traveling to Russia to play there during the US offseason, a common practice for NBA basketball players who often make a much better living abroad than at home.

Russia condemns US “public uproar”

On Thursday, Russian diplomacy denounced the “public hype” of American leaders over the case of basketball player Britney Grenier, who was tried and detained in Russia for drug smuggling, a file that Joe Biden made a “priority.”

“The public uproar that modern politicians like so much can be embarrassing only in this concrete case. This not only distracts from the issue, but intrusives it,” Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies.

“What can help (…) is the American side’s consideration of the signals they are receiving from Russia,” he still leaves.

The day before, the White House confirmed that the release of Britney Grenier, imprisoned in Russia since February, was a “priority” for the US president, who read a touching letter from the sportswoman and spoke with his wife.

Before that, amid a continuing deterioration in Russian-American relations, particularly with the Russian attack on Ukraine, senior officials in Washington said Russia was highlighting “unfairly” in 2:3.


The Russian warning comes on the day of the second hearing of Grenier’s trial, which faces up to 10 years in prison. She was tried in the Khimki court on the outskirts of Moscow.

The Phoenix Mercury player was arrested in February when she arrived at Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow with, according to the prosecution, vaporizers and liquids from cannabis.

Britney Greiner was traveling to Russia to play there during the US offseason, a common practice for NBA basketball players who often make a much better living abroad than at home.

According to the Russian deputy minister, we must wait for the conclusion of this trial, while some are already betting on a possible exchange of prisoners between the United States and Russia.

“It is clear that all the legal proceedings are not over with us. As long as this is not done, we cannot talk about the rest,” the diplomat said.

Given Russian case law in similar cases, this 31-year-old woman can expect a harsh sentence, to be executed in a Russian criminal colony.

The basketball player arrested in a Russian prison, wrote a letter to Joe Biden that was symbolically deposited at the White House on Monday, US Independence Day, pleading with the president not to “forget it.”

“I know you have to deal with a lot of things, but please don’t forget me and the other American prisoners,” Britney Greiner said from her cell, saying she was “terrified at the thought of being here forever.”

prisoner exchange

On Wednesday, Joe Biden called Cheryl Greiner, the basketball player’s wife, to “reassure her that he is working to secure Britney’s release as quickly as possible,” according to the White House.

Americans and Russians accuse each other of detaining their citizens for political purposes. Many prisoners have been exchanged in the past.

In April, former US Marine Trevor Reed, who had been sentenced to nine years in Russia for the violence he denied, swapped Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko, imprisoned in the United States since 2010 for drug trafficking in connection with the FARC in Colombia.

Other exchanges of this kind will be the subject of talks.

Among the most frequently mentioned are those of Paul Whelan, an American who was sentenced to 16 years in prison for espionage and who claimed his innocence, and the famous Russian arms dealer Victor Bout, who was arrested in Thailand in 2008 and is serving a 25-year sentence. In prison in the United States.

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