U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner’s trial on drug expenses resumes in Russia on Tuesday amid intensified diplomatic efforts to safe her launch by means of a high-profile prisoner change.
Griner, 31, faces as much as 10 years in a Russian penal colony if convicted of smuggling hashish vape cartridges into the nation. The 2-time Olympic champion instructed the court docket final week she didn’t intend to smuggle medicine into Russia, whereas her protection legal professionals introduced docs’ prescriptions of medical marijuana, which is unlawful in Russia.
A court docket within the city of Khimki north of Moscow resumes hearings Tuesday, one month after the start of the trial.
U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration has breached its personal coverage of secrecy when it floated a proposal to change Griner and former Marine Paul Whelan, who’s serving a 16-year jail sentence on espionage expenses. A number of stories have prompt the change may embrace convicted arms supplier Viktor Bout.
U.S. State Secretary Antony Blinken spoke with Russian Overseas Minister Sergei Lavrov by telephone for the primary time since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, urging him to simply accept the prisoner swap. Lavrov known as for “quiet diplomacy with none doubtful media leaks” after the decision.
Bloomberg reported Monday, citing unnamed individuals acquainted with discussions, that Russia is in search of to extract a two-for-two prisoner swap.
A possible second Russian prisoner that Moscow officers had floated embrace Vadim Krasikov, who’s serving a life sentence for homicide in Germany, and Vladislav Klyushin, who has been extradited to the USA from Switzerland on insider-trading expenses.
White Home Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and White Home Nationwide Safety Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson accused Russia of creating a “dangerous religion” counteroffer that they each dismissed as “not critical.”