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Brittney Griner was back in a Russian courtroom on Tuesday as her protection group tried to put out the explanation why she introduced marijuana by a Moscow airport 5 months in the past.
Griner pleaded responsible to a drug cost earlier this month. She was accused of bringing in vape cartridges containing oils derived from hashish by a Moscow airport in February and has been detained ever since. She has but to be sentenced and will withstand 10 years in jail.
Griner’s protection argued she used medical marijuana to deal with ache from accidents like many different skilled athletes. Medical marijuana is in opposition to the regulation in Russia.
“With the prescription in place, Brittney might have used it for medical however not leisure functions,” lawyer Maria Blagovolina mentioned in court docket, by way of Reuters.
One other listening to was then scheduled for Wednesday.
In the course of the trial, a U.S. Embassy consultant fainted within the courtroom. In line with Russian media, the embassy consultant tried to go away in the course of the listening to and fainted on the door. The individual was reportedly taken to the hospital. It’s unclear why the individual fainted.
The U.S. State Division has categorised Griner as “wrongfully detained.” Griner acknowledged she had the canisters along with her however had no intention of breaking the regulation.
Russian International Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova mentioned Thursday the U.S. legal guidelines legalizing hashish in some states haven’t any bearing on what occurs in Russia.
“If a U.S. citizen was taken in reference to the fact that she was smuggling drugs, and he or she doesn’t deny this, then this must be commensurate with our Russian native legal guidelines and never with these adopted in San Francisco, New York and Washington,” Zakharova mentioned.
“You perceive, if medication are legalized in the US — in numerous states — and that is performed for a very long time, and now the entire nation will change into drug addicted. This doesn’t imply that every one different international locations are following the identical path.”
Russian media has speculated that Griner may very well be exchanged for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, who’s imprisoned within the U.S. Russian authorities have mentioned that no swap may happen till Griner is sentenced.
A Russian court docket has licensed Griner’s detention till Dec. 20.
The Related Press contributed to this report.