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Moscow defends arrest of basketball star Brittney Griner

Russian prosecutors defended the arrest of US basketball player Brittney Griner after the Biden administration called her detention “illegal.”

In a statement Thursday, Russian authorities said the 31-year-old was arrested by police in Moscow in February on the basis of “objective facts and evidence”.

“She was caught in the act trying to smuggle hash oil,” the statement said. “It’s a crime in Russia.”

Earlier this month, the US State Department called Griner’s arrest “illegal” and “wrongful”.

Griner was caught trying to leave the country with vape cartridges containing a cannabis oil derivative. While legal in other parts of the world, the cartridges are banned in Russia.

Surveillance footage of Griner at the airport before her arrest.
Surveillance footage of Griner at the airport before her arrest.
Russian Federal Customs Service
If convicted, Griner faces up to ten years in prison.
If convicted, Griner faces up to ten years in prison.
AFP via Getty Images

Griner, who plays for Phoenix Mercury and a Russian team in the off-season, faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted. She appeared in court on Friday – the first time she has appeared in public since her arrest.

https://nypost.com/2022/05/14/moscow-defends-arrest-of-basketball-star-brittney-griner/ Moscow defends arrest of basketball star Brittney Griner

JACLYN DIAZ

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