Griner sentenced to nine years in prison in Russia

U.S. basketball player Brittney Griner, who was detained at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport and later charged with illegal possession of cannabis, stands inside a defendants' cage during the reading of the court's verdict in Khimki outside Moscow, Russia August 4, 2022. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina/Pool

KHIMKI, Russia (Reuters) -A Russian court on Thursday sentenced U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner to nine years prison on drugs charges, after finding her guilty of narcotics possession and smuggling for bringing cannabis-infused vape cartridges into Russia.

A Russian state prosecutor had requested 9.5 years in prison for Griner, who said in her closing remarks that bringing the cartridges into Russia had been “an honest mistake”

Griner was also fined 1 million roubles ($16,000).

After the sentencing, Griner appeared sad and stony-faced, and said she understood the sentence.

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