Brittney Griner’s lawyers explode at appeal rejection and reveal WNBA star’s biggest fear’ moving forward

Brittney Griner was sentenced to nine years in prison on Tuesday by a Russian court. Her legal team called the ruling “excessive and contradictory.” Despite talks of a possible prisoner swap, Griner fears the worst.

Maria Blagovolina, Griner’s attorney, and Alexander Boykov (her defense lawyer) said Tuesday in a statement that they were shocked by the court’s denial of Griner’s appeal of her nine-year sentence for drug possession. They argued that Griner had been sentenced to an average of five years.

“It’s not what we expected.” Blagovolina, Boykov, and Griner’s agency said that they are deeply disappointed. “The verdict has many flaws and we hoped the court of appeal would consider them. “We still believe that the punishment is excessive and contrary to existing court practice.”

their team of hers did not indicate whether they would appeal further.

“Brittney is most afraid that she will not be exchanged. She will have to complete her sentence in Russia. She was hopeful for today because each month, every day she is away from her family and her friends, matters to her.

After the sentence was upheld, Jake Sullivan, national security adviser, released a statement.

“We are aware that Brittney Griner will be held in Russia under intolerable circumstances. She has already been through another sham judicial proceeding. The statement stated that President Biden had made it clear that Brittney should be freed immediately.

Sullivan said that the White House had continued to “engage with Russia” regarding Griner’s release and Paul Whelan’s detention in recent weeks.

John Kirby, National Security Council coordinator, stated in September that Russia had

not responded to the “substantial offer” made by the U.S. back in July. According to reports, the proposal also includes Viktor Bout (a Russian arms dealer) who is currently serving a 225-year sentence in the U.S.

Griner’s nine-plus years’ sentence is regarded by Russian legal standards as severe and extreme,” Griner agent Lindsay Colas stated in a statement. “Today’s unexpected, but not surprising, appeal result further validates her hostage status and is being used to be a political pawn.” Brittney Griner is being held in Russia because she is an American.

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