Brittney Griner testifies that she signed documents without understanding what they said after being stopped at Moscow airport

“I nonetheless do not perceive to at the present time how they ended up in my luggage,” said Griner, who has been detained in Russia since February, when authorities said they discovered hashish oil in her baggage at a Moscow airport and accused her of smuggling vital quantities of a narcotic substance. She faces as much as 10 years in jail.

Griner, who arrived at the Khimki regional court docket close to Moscow on Wednesday in handcuffs, testified that when she was stopped at the Sheremetyevo airport on February 17, she was made to signal totally different documents without totally understanding what they included.

Initially, Griner said, she signed some documents however was utilizing Google translate on her cellphone and barely knew what was in them. She was later taken to a different room, she said, the place her cellphone was taken away and she was made to signal extra documents without an evidence.

No legal professional was current, Griner testified, and she said her rights weren’t defined to her, which, in keeping with Russian legislation, ought to have occurred inside three hours. Those rights would come with her proper to know what she was suspected of and to have entry to a protection legal professional from the second she was detained — together with the flexibility to have a non-public assembly earlier than her first interrogation by authorities.

Griner’s detention, search and arrest had been “improper,” her legal professional, Alexander Boykov, instructed journalists Wednesday, including he would elaborate through the trial’s closing arguments, that are anticipated in “a few weeks.”

In her testimony, Griner “defined to the court docket that she is aware of and respects Russian legal guidelines and by no means supposed to interrupt them,” Griner’s different lawyer, Maria Blagovolina, said after Wednesday’s listening to.

“She emphasised that she by no means deliberate to carry it to Russia and use it. She additionally instructed the court docket that Yekaterinburg turned her second dwelling, and she has at all times loved her time in Russia,” Blagovolina added, referring to the Russian metropolis the place Griner performed .

Wednesday’s listening to — the trial’s sixth — was, like earlier ones, attended by US Embassy chargé d’affaires Elizabeth Rood.

The trial is predicted to finish early subsequent month, Griner’s attorneys have said.

Griner testifies that she used medical marijuana to deal with knee accidents

The determination to plead responsible was Griner’s alone, a supply near her said. For weeks, Griner, her household, attorneys and specialists had mentioned the choice extensively, and given the 99% reported conviction price in Russian felony circumstances, Griner was urged to weigh all of the elements, together with a plea which may in the end end in a shorter sentence .

At the beginning of her trial, a prosecutor accused Griner of deliberately smuggling medication into Russia, however Griner later instructed the court docket she had not meant to commit a criminal offense, in keeping with state media company RIA Novosti. The hashish oil was in her baggage, she said, because of her packing in a rush.

Griner reiterated that assertion in her testimony Wednesday, telling the court docket she was conscious of Russia’s drug legal guidelines and didn’t imply to interrupt them, including that she was in a rush and “stress packing.”

Griner’s attorneys have instructed Russian judges their consumer was prescribed medical hashish for “extreme power ache.” And when requested Wednesday how she obtained cartridges with hashish oil within the United States, Griner said she used a medical allow doc issued in Arizona to purchase marijuana from a pharmacy for medical functions.

Griner had a nasty knee damage, she said, that put her in a wheelchair for 4 months, and she used medical marijuana when her knee and ankle joint had been infected. But she by no means used it previous to tournaments, she testified, due to the danger it could result in disqualification.

“No, I might by no means threat that,” she said. “I by no means needed to harm my workforce.”

Brittney Griner was prescribed medical cannabis for 'severe chronic pain,'  lawyers tell court

In a listening to Tuesday, Griner’s attorneys known as a narcologist as an skilled witness, who testified “medical hashish is a well-liked therapy particularly amongst athletes” outdoors of Russia, in keeping with Blagovolina.

Boykov harassed the protection’s place isn’t that Griner was “allowed to import” banned substances into Russia, however they hoped to point out the court docket “even within the United States, the place it’s allowed, she used these substances often as prescribed by a physician, strictly for medical functions to alleviate ache.”

“We proceed to insist that, by indiscretion, in a rush, she packed her suitcase and didn’t take note of the actual fact that substances allowed to be used within the United States ended up on this suitcase and arrived within the Russian Federation,” Boykov said .

Some have speculated Griner may very well be launched in a prisoner swap just like Trevor Reed, an American veteran who was detained in Russia for 3 years earlier than his launch in April.

But earlier than any potential prisoner swap, it was anticipated Griner must be convicted and in addition admit fault, a senior US official beforehand instructed CNN.

Griner awaits court hearing.

‘She’s one in all us’

Griner’s detention has change into a focus for high-profile American athletes, together with USWNT soccer star Megan Rapinoe and four-time NBA champion Steph Curry who known as on these listening to remain centered on reaching her launch at final week’s ESPY Awards.

“As we hope for the perfect, we urge the complete world sports activities neighborhood to proceed to remain energized on her behalf,” Curry said, when joined by WNBA stars Nneka Ogwumike and Skylar Diggins-Smith to handle the difficulty.

“She’s one in all us, the workforce of athletes on this room tonight and everywhere in the world. A workforce that has nothing to do with politics or world battle.”

Griner’s spouse, Cherelle Griner, spoke with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris earlier this month after publicly criticizing the administration’s response to her spouse’s detention.

Cherelle Griner said she was “grateful” for the decision, however added she would “stay involved and outspoken” till her spouse was dwelling.

CNN’s Chris Liakos contributed to this report.

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