18 Nov 2022 09:14

U.S. basketballer Griner, sentenced in Russia, transferred to penal colony in Mordovia - lawyers

MOSCOW. Nov 18 (Interfax) - U.S. basketball player Brittney Griner, sentenced to nine years in a penal colony in Russia after being convicted on drug smuggling charges, will serve her term at Correctional Facility No. 2 in Russia's internal republic of Mordovia, her lawyers told reporters on Thursday.

"Brittney began serving her sentence at IK-2 in Mordovia. We visited her early this week. Brittney is coping with the situation as best as she can. She is trying to stay strong and to adapt to the new conditions," lawyers Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boikov said in a statement.

The Moscow Region Court in October upheld the sentence of nine years in a general penitentiary given to Griner by the Khimki City Court in the Moscow region in August 2022. At the same time, the appeals court upheld a motion from the prosecution and recalculated the time spent by Griner in custody, credited to the term of punishment, as a day in a pre-trial detention center for one and a half in a penitentiary instead of a day for a day, as ordered by the lower-tier court. After the time spent in custody was recalculated, Griner will serve about eight years in a penal colony.

Griner was found guilty of illegal possession of drugs without intent to distribute and smuggling drugs in large quantities.

According to the case summary, on February 17, 2022, Griner arrived in Moscow on a plane from New York, and hashish oil was found in her luggage.

Griner told the court she pleaded partially guilty and explained that she did not intend to break the law and that she had inadvertently taken the drugs with her because she felt unwell. According to her, cartridges containing medical marijuana were prescribed to her by a doctor in the United States as painkillers.