Brittney Griner Freed in Prisoner Exchange Between US and Russia

US basketball player was arrested since the beginning of the year for illegally possessing a substance containing cannabis at Moscow airport

8 ten
2022
– 11:31 am

(updated at 11:40 am)




Brittney Griner released from Russian prison after prisoner swap with US

Brittney Griner released from Russian prison after prisoner swap with US

Photo: REUTERS

the basketball player Brittney Griner was released during an unprecedented exchange of prisoners between the United States and Russia, this Thursday, 8. She was exchanged for a Russian arms dealer, detained in the United States.

Griner had been in jail since the beginning of the year, accused of illegally possessing a substance containing cannabis when entering a Moscow airport. She was sentenced to nine years in prison, a sentence that has been called arbitrary by US authorities.

Since her trial, the US government has been negotiating with Moscow an exchange of prisoners in order to free the US NBA champion.

She was exchanged for Viktor Bout, a Russian arms dealer who was imprisoned in the US. He is a former lieutenant colonel in the Soviet Army who the US Department of Justice has named as one of the biggest arms dealers in the world.

Bout was serving a 25-year sentence on charges of conspiring to sell tens of thousands of dollars worth of weapons, earning him the nickname “the Merchant of Death”.

According to the president of the United States, Joe Biden, who spoke with the athlete on the phone, the release has already been carried out and the athlete is in the custody of US authorities, on her way home.

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