June 7, 2023

  • Brittney Griner’s attorney said he called Thursday’s sentencing hearing “a day of fate.”
  • “When we saw Brittney on Tuesday, we said, ‘See you Thursday.’ He said, “See you on the day of fate,” Maria Blagovolina he told Reuters.
  • Griner “was right,” Blagovolina said, as she was sentenced to nine years in prison in Russia on drug-trafficking charges.

Brittney Griner appeared to know her fate in the Russian court, calling Thursday’s hearing and sentencing a “day of fate” when she spoke with her lawyer earlier in the week, her lawyer said.

“When we saw Brittney on Tuesday, we told her, ‘See you Thursday,'” Griner’s attorney, Maria Blagovolina. he told Reuters.

The WNBA superstar and two-time Olympic gold medalist replied: “See you on doomsday,” Blagovolina told Reuters.

Brittney Griner

Griner is escorted from the courtroom after her final words in Khimki just outside Moscow, Russia.

AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko

“Well, it looks like he was right,” the lawyer added in her retelling, referring to Griner’s guilty verdict and nine-year prison sentence handed down Thursday.

Griner has been detained in Russia since February, when she was arrested at Moscow airport after officials found vaping cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage.

Her trial ended Thursday, with a judge finding Griner guilty of criminal intent on the drug trafficking charges.

She had previously pleaded guilty to reduce the potential 10-year prison sentence that characterizes Russian drug-trafficking charges.

The Biden administration announced it had offered to trade a convicted Russian arms dealer, Victor Bout, in exchange for the early release of both Griner and Paul Whelan, a former US Marine also held in Russia.

Russia has yet to formally respond to the administration’s proposal, but has suggested it would be interested in the swap if the US helps free an additional convict – a Russian national who was tried, convicted and imprisoned for murder in Germany.

As pressure mounts to return Griner home, Biden called on Russia on Wednesday to release her, as it has identified her as an “unreasonably detained prisoner.”

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