October 3, 2022

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that basketball star Britney Grenier, who is currently on trial in Russia for drug smuggling, may appeal her sentence or seek clemency once the court issues its verdict.

Alexei Zaitsev, a ministry spokesman, told reporters at Moscow news briefing.

Mr. Zaitsev said Ms. Greiner’s “serious crime is supported by indisputable evidence” and that “attempts to present her case as if the American woman were unlawfully detained do not stand up to criticism”.

Ms Greiner, 31, was arrested on February 17 after being accused of possessing cannabis oil in her bag at an airport near Moscow, where she had traveled to play for UMMC Yekaterinburg, the Russian women’s professional basketball team.

The US government has classified Ms Greiner as “unjustly detained”, meaning it believes the charges against her are fraudulent – possibly intended to pressure Washington over the war in Ukraine.

If convicted, she faces up to 10 years in a Russian penal colony. On Monday, she sent a handwritten letter to President Biden asking him not to “forget” she and the other American detainees.

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