Russian appeal court upholds sentence of U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner

U.S. basketball player Brittney Griner appears on screens via video link from the detention centre before a court hearing to consider an appeal against her prison sentence, in Krasnogorsk, Moscow Region, Russia.

U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner’s Russian lawyer said on Tuesday that she and her team hoped she could be released in a prisoner exchange with the United States.

Speaking to reporters after an appeal court near Moscow upheld Griner’s nine-year jail sentence for possessing and smuggling vape cartridges containing cannabis oil, lawyer Alexander Boykov said: “We hope that an exchange is possible.”

He said the legal team would speak with Griner in the next few days, and that it would be for the American to decide whether she wanted them to pursue a further appeal.

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