Tags: brittney griner | wnba | russia | usa | biden | drugs

Jailed Brittney Griner Not Expecting 'Miracles' in Russian Appeal Hearing

Brittney Griner
Brittney Griner (Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 24 October 2022 04:23 PM EDT

WNBA star Brittney Griner, who's been detained in a Russian jail for the last eight months, says she's not expecting "miracles" at Tuesday's appeal hearing for her nine-year prison sentence, due to possessing cannabis oil at a Moscow airport.

On Monday, attorneys Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov issued a statement on their client's behalf, saying Griner was prepared for any outcome that may occur in the appeal hearing.

They also noted how Griner — who pleaded guilty to drug-possession charges in August — has experienced high stress since being detained by Russian officials.

"We see her often. Brittney is very mentally strong and has a champion's character. However, she of course has her highs and lows as she is under an increasing amount of stress and has been separated from her loved ones for over eight months," Blagovolina and Boykov said in their joint statement.

The lawyers continued: "[Griner] is prepared for the appeal and is very nervous. Brittney does not expect any miracles to happen, but hopes that the appeal court will hear the arguments of the defense and reduce the number of years."

Also, Blagovolina and Boykov confirmed that Griner — a former NCAA champion (Baylor), and eight-time WNBA All-Star (Phoenix Mercury) — will appear at Tuesday's hearing, via video conference.

As Newsmax chronicled back in July, the White House maintained that President Joe Biden has been working behind the scenes to get Griner, Paul Whelan and other Americans detained in Russia back to the U.S.

However, it doesn't appear that much progress has been made between U.S. and Russian officials in recent months, at least since White House national security spokesman John Kirby told reporters Biden personally signed off on a proposed deal to free Griner and Whelan from Russian prison.

Whelan is a 50-year-old corporate security executive and Marine Corps veteran who has been sentenced to 16 years in prison in Russia for alleged espionage.

Elizabeth Whelan, Paul's sister, had been critical of the White House during the summer, arguing the Biden administration had not been giving her brother's case the same amount of attention as Griner's.

In addition to being a U.S. citizen, Paul Whelan reportedly holds British, Canadian and Irish passports.

Last week, while the NBA celebrated Opening Night around the league, star players such as Kyrie Irving (Brooklyn Nets) and Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors) publicly acknowledged the urgency in bringing Griner home to America.

"I appreciate us being able to share this floor together all of us as brothers, but the big picture that's going on in the world is free our sister Brittney Griner," Irving said last week. "Please, please [President Biden], do your job. Everybody do your job, please bring our sister home."

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WNBA star Brittney Griner, who's been detained in a Russian jail for the last eight months, says she's not expecting "miracles" at Tuesday's appeal hearing for her nine-year prison sentence, due to possessing cannabis oil at a Moscow airport.
brittney griner, wnba, russia, usa, biden, drugs
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2022-23-24
Monday, 24 October 2022 04:23 PM
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