In her last remarks, Griner mentioned she had no intent to interrupt Russian legislation by bringing vape cartridges containing hashish oil together with her when she flew to Moscow in February.
“I made an sincere mistake, and I hope in your ruling it doesn’t finish my life,” she mentioned.
American basketball star Brittney Griner has apologised to her household and her group as a Russian court docket heard closing arguments in her drug possession trial forward of the decision.
Prosecutors requested the presiding choose to condemn Griner to 9 and a half years in jail, and the choose mentioned they’d proved their case.
The trial neared its finish practically six months after Griner’s arrest at a Moscow airport in a case that has reached the very best ranges of US-Russia diplomacy, with Washington proposing a prisoner trade.
A conviction is all however sure, on condition that Russian courts hardly ever acquit defendants and 31-year-old Griner has admitted to having vape cartridges with hashish oil in her baggage, however judges have latitude on sentencing.
Griner advised the court docket: “I need to apologise to my teammates, my membership, my followers and the town of (Yekaterinburg) for my mistake that I made and the embarrassment that I introduced on them.
“I need to additionally apologise to my dad and mom, my siblings, the Phoenix Mercury organisation again at house, the wonderful girls of the WNBA, and my wonderful partner again at house.”
Legal professionals for the Phoenix Mercury participant and two-time Olympic gold medallist have pursued methods to bolster Griner’s rivalry that she had no prison intent and that the canisters ended up in her baggage attributable to hasty packing.
They’ve introduced character witnesses from the Russian group she performs for throughout the WNBA offseason and written proof from a physician who mentioned he prescribed her hashish for ache therapy.
Her lawyer Maria Blagovolina argued that Griner took the cartridges together with her to Russia inadvertently and solely used hashish to deal with ache from accidents sustained in her profession. She mentioned she used it solely in Arizona, the place medical marijuana is authorized.
Ms Blagovolina emphasised that Griner was packing in haste after a gruelling flight and affected by the results of Covid-19. She additionally identified that the evaluation of hashish present in Griner’s possession was flawed and violated authorized procedures.
The lawyer requested the court docket to acquit Griner, noting that she has no previous prison file and hailing her function in “the event of Russian basketball”.
One other defence lawyer, Alexander Boykov, additionally emphasised Griner’s function in taking her Yekaterinburg group to win a number of championships, noting that she was liked and admired by her teammates.
He advised the choose a conviction would undermine Russia’s efforts to develop nationwide sports activities and make Moscow’s name to depoliticise sports activities sound shallow.