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Russian courts upholds WNBA’s Brittany Griner’s 9-year sentencing

On Tuesday, a Moscow court rejected the appeal of Brittney Griner regarding her nine-year sentence for drug charges. This result was anticipated, and U.S. officials called the trial an illegitimate proceeding.

U.S. officials said they think Russia will send the Griner home in a prisoner swap at some point, but are still frustrated because they say that Russia is failing to respond to the “significant” offer that the United States made in June.

“We are aware of the news out of Russia that Brittney Griner will continue to be wrongfully detained under intolerable circumstances after having to undergo another sham judicial proceeding today,” said U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan in a statement.

Griner attended the Moscow Regional Court hearing in videoconference.

The court ruled that Griner will have an amount of time to serve in prison that will be recalculated considering her time in pretrial detention. That means Griner would serve approximately eight years in prison.

Griner's attorneys, Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov, said via a statement that the decision was “not what we expected,” they went on to say “The verdict contains numerous defects, and we hoped that the court of appeal would take them into consideration. We still think the punishment is excessive and contradicts to the existing court practice."

The WNBA Players Association said, “This appeal is further verification that BG is not just wrongfully detained… She is very clearly a hostage.'' in a statement.

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