Britney Griner: Examination of vape cartridges violated Russian law, says defense expert

Among the violations is that the results of the examination do not show the amount of THC in the substance, Griner’s lawyer Maria Blagovolina said after the meeting.

“The examination does not comply with the law in terms of the completeness of the study and does not comply with the norms of the Code of Criminal Procedure,” testified in favor of the defense during an approximately two-hour meeting, forensic chemist Dmitry Gladyshev.

The defense also questioned Alexander Korablev, an expert for the prosecution, who examined the cartridges confiscated from Griner’s luggage.

Griner’s appearance at Khimki City Court marks her seventh court hearing as Russian prosecutors accuse her of attempted smuggling less than 1 gram or cannabis oil in her luggage. She is pleaded guilty to a drug charge — a decision her lawyers hope will result in a lesser sentence — and faces up to 10 years in prison.
Here's what we've learned from Britney Griner's trial in Russia following her latest testimony.
Despite admitting guilt, the US State Department maintains that she was wrongfully detained. Supporters of Griner, a two-time Olympian who plays in Russia during the WNBA offseason, have called for her release over fears she is being used as a political pawn. War between Russia and Ukraine.
US officials are facing enormous pressure from the Griner family, lawmakers and the professional basketball community to bring her home. part of the prisoner exchange. Grinner wrote to President Joe Biden imploring him to do everything in his power to facilitate her release.

On Tuesday, a 31-year-old man sat in the defendant’s cage in the courtroom. Chargé d’Affaires of the US Embassy in Moscow, Elizabeth Roode, attended Tuesday’s hearing and subsequently said that the US “will continue to support Ms. Griner at every stage of this process and until she returns home to the United States.” safely”.

Griner’s next hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

Outside the courthouse on Tuesday, one of her lawyers told CNN that Griner was focused but nervous about her upcoming verdict.

“… She still knows that the end is near, and of course she heard the news, so she hopes that someday she will be able to return home, and we hope too,” Blagovolina said.

Asked about their team’s strategy to challenge the testimony of the Russian prosecutor’s office, Blagovolina said: “Well, there are many factors that the court has to take into account. She admitted she brought something, but we need to know what she brought. What substance?”

Blagovolina also told CNN that her team’s experts identified “several defects” in the machines used to measure the content of the substance.

At the trial, Griner testified that she had a doctor’s prescription for medical marijuana and had no intention of bringing the drug into Russia. After her arrest in February, she was tested for drugs and found to be clean, according to her lawyers.

Lawyers insist on “wrongful” detention

Griner’s lawyers have already laid out some of the arguments that the basketball player’s detention was mishandled after she was stopped by Sheremetyevo International Airport on February 17.

Her detention, search and arrest were “illegal,” one of her lawyers, Aleksandr Boikov, said last week, noting that more details would be revealed during the final debate.

After being stopped at the airport, Griner forced to sign documents that she did not quite understand, she testified. At first, she said, she used Google Translate on her phone, but later she was taken to another room, where her phone was taken away and she was forced to sign several more documents.

According to her testimony, there was no lawyer, and she was not explained her rights. These rights will include access to a lawyer after she is detained and the right to know what she is suspected of. Under Russian law, she had to be informed of her rights within three hours of her arrest.

In her testimony, Griner “explained to the court that she knows and respects Russian laws and never intended to violate them,” Blagovolina, a partner at Rybalkin, Gortsunyan, Dyakin and Partners, said after a hearing last week.

The detained player testified that she knew about Russian laws and did not intend to bring cannabis oil into the country, noting that she was in a hurry and “packed the stress.”

According to Blagovolina, Griner confirmed that she has a prescription from a doctor for medical marijuana, which she uses to treat knee pain and joint inflammation.

“We continue to insist that due to imprudence, in a hurry, she packed her suitcase and did not pay attention to the fact that substances approved for use in the United States ended up in this suitcase and arrived in the Russian Federation,” Boikov said. This is reported by the Moscow Legal Center.

The Kremlin issues a decree on “megaphone diplomacy”

The Kremlin warned on Tuesday that US “megaphone diplomacy” would not help negotiations on a prisoner exchange involving Griner.

Speaking to reporters, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow believes these talks should be “cautious.”

“Megaphone diplomacy and a public exchange of positions will lead nowhere,” Peskov added.

CNN Exclusive: Biden administration offers convicted Russian arms dealer in exchange for Griner and Whelan
The comments come less than a week after CNN reported that the Biden administration proposed a prisoner exchange with Russiaoffering to release convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout in exchange for Griner and another detained American, Paul Whelan.
Russian officials rejected the US offerseveral sources familiar with the discussions said they are asking the US to also include a convicted killer who was previously a Russian intelligence agency colonel, Vadim Krasikov.

U.S. officials did not accept the request as a legitimate counteroffer, sources told CNN, in part because the offer was sent through an unofficial backchannel. Krasikov’s release will also be difficult as he is in German custody.

“This is a bad-faith attempt to sidestep a very serious proposal put forward by the United States, and we urge Russia to take this proposal seriously,” Defense Department spokesman John Kirby told CNN, adding later: “We very much want Brittney and Paul to return home to their families to which they belong.

The Griner family, WNBA supporters and teammates continued to show solidarity and hope as they awaited the conclusion of the lawsuit.

Ahead of last week’s trial, the WNBA Players’ Union tweeted“Dear BG… It’s early in Moscow. Our day is ending, but yours is just beginning. Not a day or an hour goes by without you in our thoughts and in our hearts.”

This story was updated with additional events on Tuesday.

Correction: In a previous version of this story, Britney Griner’s name was misspelled.

CNN’s Travis Caldwell, Dakin Andone, Kylie Atwood, Evan Perez, Jennifer Hansler, Natasha Bertrand, Frederick Pleitgen, Chris Liakos, and Zahra Ulla contributed to this report.