Moscow, Aug 2 (EFE).- A Russian court on Tuesday resumed the trial of United States basketball player Brittney Griner over drug possession and smuggling.
The 31-year-old was arrested last February at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport after cannabis oil, a prohibited substance in Russia, was found among her belongings.
Drug smuggling into Russia is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
The two-time Olympic champion, who pleaded guilty, explained the presence of cannabis oil in her luggage with the haste with which she had packed her bags to travel to Russia.
Griner said she uses cannabis as an analgesic to relieve her knee pain, but never during the competition.
The trial, held at the Khimki court on Moscow’s outskirt, was restarted a few days after US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken discussed with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov a possible prisoner swap that would include Griner.
During a phone call, Blinken urged Lavrov to accept an exchange involving US’ Griner and Paul Whelan – held in Russia – and Russian arms dealer Viktor But, who is serving 25 years in prison in the US, according to Washington.
The top Russian diplomat did not respond to the US proposal and called on his US counterpart to “return to a professional (work) regime, without speculative disinformation, a dialogue based on ‘silent diplomacy,'”according to a Moscow statement. EFE