In her crucial drug smuggling trial, a defense expert testified on Tuesday that the examination of the substance found in vape cartridges that WNBA star Brittney Griner was carrying at a Moscow airport in February did not adhere to Russian law.
According to Griner’s attorney Maria Blagovolina, one of the violations is that the test results did not reveal how much THC was present in the substance.
Forensic chemist Dmitry Gladyshev testified for the defense during the roughly two-hour hearing, saying, “The examination does not comply with the law in terms of the completeness of the study and does not comply with the norms of the Code of Criminal Procedure.”
Alexander Korablyov, a prosecution expert who examined Griner’s cartridges that were taken from her luggage, was questioned by the defense as well.
Griner’s court appearance in Khimki marked her seventh hearing since Russian authorities claim that she tried to smuggle less than 1 gram of cannabis oil into the country in her luggage. She faces up to 10 years in prison after entering a guilty plea to drug charges, which her attorneys are hoping will result in a less severe sentence.
The US State Department insists she is unlawfully detained despite her guilty plea. Fearing that Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist who competes in Russia during the WNBA offseason, is being used as a pawn in Russia’s conflict with Ukraine, her supporters have called for her release.
US officials are under intense pressure to return Griner home, possibly as part of a prisoner swap, from her family, lawmakers, and the world of professional basketball. Griner begged President Joe Biden in a letter to take all possible steps to facilitate her release.
Griner defence challenge narcotics expert evidenceAP
In the courtroom on Tuesday, the 31-year-old was seated inside the defendant’s cage. After the hearing on Tuesday, Elizabeth Rood, charge d’affaires of the US embassy in Moscow, declared that the US would “continue to support Miss Griner through every step of this process and as long as it takes to bring her home to the United States safely.”
Griner’s next hearing is set for Thursday.