New reports have revealed the Kremlin issued a warning against any sort of public discourse concerning the potential prisoner swap of WNBA star Brittney Griner, just one day after a Russian court decided to uphold her nine-year prison sentence for drug possession.
You know, if I didn’t know any better, I’d swear Russia is purposefully refusing to consider any sort of leniency for Griner in order to use her as leverage for a prisoner swap so they can get someone we must have in our custody back so said individual can return to whatever shady business the government likely had them involved with.
According to Fox News, “Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov issued the warning Wednesday when reporters asked if Griner could be released as a part of a prisoner swap negotiated by the White House, saying ‘we always say that any contacts about possible exchanges can only be conducted in silence under a tight lid on any information..”
“Peskov made a similar statement in August after widely circulated reports suggested that Viktor Bout, a Russian arms dealer who is serving a 25-year sentence in the U.S., was a key component in the deal being discussed,” the Fox report continued.
“If we discuss prisoner exchanges via the press then they will never take place,” he went on to say at the time, according to Reuters.
Griner was first taken into custody at Sheremetyevo Airport located in Moscow on February 17 after she was busted carrying vape canisters containing cannabis oil in her luggage. She pleaded guilty to the charges, but still claimed she accidentally brought the substances with her and had not planned on breaking any laws.
Well, the court most certainly didn’t buy that line. Whether or not it’s true, we’ll never really know. But it definitely did not work as a defense. Griner’s attorneys stated during the trial that the two-time Olympic gold medalist had been prescribed the substances by medical professionals in order to help manage pain.
The nine-year sentence she was handed down was upheld during an appeal hearing on Tuesday.
“It is not what we expected. We are very disappointed,” Griner’s legal team, Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov, remarked on Tuesday. “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.
“Brittney’s biggest fear is that she is not exchanged and will have to serve the whole sentence in Russia. She had hopes for today as each month, each day away from her family and friends matters to her,” the legal team continued.
National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan put out another statement on Tuesday concerning Griner and the court’s latest decision, stating that the official position of the United States on the matter is that the WNBA star is being “wrongfully detained.”
What is truly ironic about this whole situation is that Griner slammed the U.S. justice system ruthlessly over the course of the last few years, but she’s likely begging to be back home and likely wishes she’d been tried under our system, which wouldn’t have given her more than a slap on the wrist if that for these charges.
Grass is always greener on the other side, right?