Russian knowledgeable at Griner’s trial discusses medical hashish

Russian knowledgeable at Griner’s trial discusses medical hashish

KHIMKI, Russia (AP) — The drug trial of American basketball star Brittney Griner in a Russian court docket targeted Tuesday on testimony that hashish, whereas unlawful in Russia, is regarded in different international locations as having reliable medicinal use.

Griner acknowledged in court docket earlier this month that she was carrying vape canisters containing hashish oil when she was arrested in February at a Moscow airport. However she contends she had no felony intent and that the canisters ended up in her baggage inadvertently due to hasty packing.

“We’re not arguing that Brittney took it right here as a drugs. We’re nonetheless saying that she involuntarily introduced it right here as a result of she was in a rush,” protection legal professional Alexander Boykov stated after the listening to.

One other member of Griner’s protection workforce beforehand submitted a U.S. physician’s letter recommending the basketball participant use medical hashish to deal with ache. Throughout Tuesday’s court docket session, a Russian neuropsychologist testified about worldwide use of medicinal hashish.

“The Russian public has to know, and the Russian court docket within the first place has to know, that it was not used for leisure functions in the USA. It was prescribed by a health care provider,” lawyer Boykov stated.

A Russian International Ministry spokesperson stated final week that the legalization of hashish for medical and leisure use in elements of the U.S. had no bearing on what occurs in Russia.

Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, pleaded responsible to drug possession expenses on the second listening to of her trial, which began July 1. She faces as much as 10 years in jail if convicted of transporting medicine.. The medical testimony and Griner’s admission that she had the canisters have been aimed toward incomes her a gentle sentence.

“We have now a whole lot of mitigating elements. So we do hope that the court docket will take it into consideration. And the courts in Russia, in reality, have very broad discretion with regard to the sentence,” stated Maria Blagovolina, one other of Griner’s attorneys.

5 court docket periods have taken place thus far, some lasting solely about an hour. After Tuesday’s session of about 90 minutes, the case was adjourned till Wednesday afternoon.

It’s unclear how lengthy the trial will final, however a court docket has approved Griner’s detention till Dec. 20.

The slow-moving trial and Griner’s 5 months of detention have raised sturdy criticism amongst teammates and supporters in the USA, which has formally declared her to be “wrongfully detained,” a designation sharply rejected by Russian officers.

Elizabeth Rood, the U.S. Embassy’s cost d’affaires, attended Tuesday’s court docket session. Griner “confirms that she is doing OK and in addition to could be anticipated beneath these circumstances,” Rood informed reporters.

ABC’s “Good Morning America” aired a producer’s temporary interview with Griner through which she wished her spouse, Cherelle, “good luck on the bar examination.”

When requested whether or not she had any complaints, Griner replied: “No, no complaints. Simply ready patiently.” She displayed images of her spouse, pals and teammates.

Griner was arrested in February amid excessive U.S.-Moscow tensions forward of Russia sending troops into Ukraine later that month. Some supporters contend she is being held in Russia as a pawn, probably for a prisoner swap. American soccer notable Megan Rapinoe final week stated “she’s being held as a political prisoner, clearly.”

The Russian International Ministry final week lashed out on the U.S. rivalry that Griner was being wrongfully detained and stated Russian legal guidelines needs to be revered.

“If a U.S. citizen was taken in reference to the truth that she was smuggling medicine, and he or she doesn’t deny this, then this needs to be commensurate with our Russian native legal guidelines, and never with these adopted in San Francisco, New York and Washington,” International Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stated.

“If medicine are legalized in the USA, in various states, and that is executed for a very long time and now the entire nation will grow to be drug-addicted, this doesn’t imply that each one different international locations are following the identical path,” she added.

Russian media have speculated that Griner may very well be exchanged for distinguished Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, who’s imprisoned in the USA, and that Paul Whelan, an American imprisoned in Russia for espionage, may determine in an alternate.

U.S. officers haven’t commented on the prospects for such a commerce. Russian officers have stated no alternate may very well be mentioned till the conclusion of the authorized proceedings towards Griner.

Earlier trial periods have included character-witness testimony from the director and captain of the Russian workforce that Griner performed for within the low season, and written testimony such because the American physician’s letter saying he had approved her to make use of hashish for ache remedy.

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