Closing Arguments Expected in Griner’s Russia Trial

Closing arguments are expected Thursday in American basketball star Brittney Griner’s drug trial in a Russian court.

Griner is facing a potential sentence of 10 years in prison if convicted.

She was arrested at a Moscow airport in February with what she has acknowledged were vape cannisters with cannabis oil in her luggage.

Griner’s lawyers argued she had no criminal intent and had been prescribed the cannabis to treat pain. U.S. officials said she was wrongfully detained.

Russian officials have said Griner violated Russian law.

In a call last week, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to accept a prisoner swap that would send Griner and accused spy Paul Whelan – who U.S. officials say is also wrongfully detained – to the United States.

People familiar with the matter say the U.S. proposal would include releasing arms trader Viktor Bout to Russia.

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters. 

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