Brittney Griner’s Russian legal team said Thursday that the WNBA superstar “decided to take full responsibility for her actions” when she pleaded guilty to a drug charge in a court in Moscow and hoped the sentence won’t be severe.
“Today BG pleaded guilty. It was her decision informed by a discussion with her legal defense team in Russia. Brittney sets an example of being brave.
… Considering the nature of her case, the insignificant amount of the substance, and BG’s personality and history of positive contributions to global and Russian sport, the defense hopes that the plea will be considered by the court as a mitigating factor and there will be no severe sentence.
… Her legal team [expects] the trial conclude around the beginning of August.”
Back in February, Griner was arrested for allegedly bringing vape cartridges containing oils derived from cannabis through a Moscow airport. She has been held in jail since. Griner faces a 10-year sentence.
Griner’s agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, also praised the WNBA superstar’s bravery.
“Brittney Griner was a model of courage today,” Kagawa Colas said. “BG’s service as an Olympian and global sport ambassador, caring for those most in need, has always distinguished her; but BG is also a human being whose family misses her. She deserves our compassion, understanding, love and support.
“We are so grateful to @POTUS and @VP for the time they spent with Cherelle confirming their commitment to bring BG and all Americans home and hope that out of respect for the sanctity of sport internationally, BG can return home as soon as possible.”
Griner’s guilty plea comes just one day after Russia’s Foreign Ministry said during a news briefing that the WNBA star will have the ability to appeal her verdict or apply for clemency.
The White House confirmed Wednesday that President Biden spoke with Griner’s wife and is actively “working to secure Brittney’s release as soon as possible, as well as the release of Paul Whelan and other U.S. nationals who are wrongfully detained or held hostage in Russia and around the world.”
Despite pleading guilty, the WNBA star insists she had “no intent” of breaking the law.
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