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Brittney Griner testified on Wednesday that she believed a translation issue might have clouded her February arrest in Russia and led to her signing paperwork with out being correctly instructed what she was doing.
Griner’s testimony got here on the final day of her drug trial. She was arrested earlier this 12 months for allegedly bringing in vape cartridges containing oils derived from hashish by means of a Moscow airport as she was returning to the nation to play for her winter workforce abroad. Griner pleaded responsible to the cost however maintained she might have packed them inadvertently.
The Olympic gold medalist mentioned during her testimony that she made a 13-hour flight from Arizona to Moscow whereas recovering from the coronavirus. Griner defined she would not understand how the hashish oils received in her bag however defined she had a physician’s suggestion for it and packed it in haste.
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“Translations weren’t excellent. I keep in mind one time seeing a stack of papers that he was imagined to switch to me, and he checked out me in a short second, and his actual phrases had been mainly, ‘You’re responsible,'” Griner mentioned.
The Phoenix Mercury heart added that she acquired neither an evidence of her rights nor entry to a lawyer and was instructed to signal paperwork with none rationalization of what they implied. Hours later, she was allowed handy over her private belongings to a lawyer earlier than being led away in handcuffs.
On Tuesday, a Russian neuropsychologist testified about the usage of medical marijuana to deal with ache. Griner’s protection workforce argued that the WNBA participant was utilizing the drug to assist ease ache from accidents.
Griner added Wednesday she was affected by ache brought on by accidents over the course of her profession and talked about the usage of medical marijuana over painkillers within the US
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The US State Department has labeled Griner as “wrongfully detained.” Griner acknowledged that she had the canisters with her however had no intention of breaking the legislation.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova mentioned Thursday the US legal guidelines legalizing hashish in some states don’t have any bearing on what occurs in Russia.
“If a US citizen was taken in reference to the truth that she was smuggling medication, and he or she doesn’t deny this, then this needs to be commensurate with our Russian native legal guidelines and never with these adopted in San Francisco, New York and Washington,” Zakharova mentioned.
“You perceive, if medication are legalized within the United States – in various states – and that is performed for a very long time, and now the entire nation will turn into drug addicted. This doesn’t imply that every one different international locations are following the identical path.”
Russian media has speculated that Griner could possibly be exchanged for Russian arms seller Viktor Bout, who’s imprisoned within the US Russian authorities have mentioned that no swap might happen till Griner is sentenced.
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A Russian courtroom has licensed Griner’s detention till Dec. 20
The Associated Press contributed to this report.