Brittney Griner sentenced to 9 years in Russian jail

By: Abrar Khan

5 Aug, 2022

WNBA star Brittney Griner sentenced to 9 years in Russian jail for drug-smuggling.

and sentenced to nine years of jail time Thursday in a case that has raised concerns she is being used as a political pawn in Russia's war against Ukraine.

Judge Anna Sotnikova of the Khimki city court delivered the sentence and fined Griner 1 million rubles, or about $16,400.

She said the court took into account Griner's partial admission of guilt, remorse for the deed, state of health and charitable activities.

Prosecutors had asked that she be sentenced to 9.5 years in jail. Prior to the verdict, Griner apologized to the court and asked for leniency in an emotional speech.

"I never meant to hurt anybody, I never meant to put in jeopardy the Russian population, I never meant to break any laws here," Griner said.

Brittney Griner Speech

I know everybody keeps talking about political pawn and politics, but I hope that, that is far from this courtroom.

"I want to say again that I had no intent on breaking any Russian laws. I had no intent. I did not conspire or plan to commit this crime," she added.