December 4, 2022

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American basketball star held as diplomatic hostage pleads guilty in Moscow court

American basketball star held as diplomatic hostage pleads guilty in Moscow court


NOS news•

American basketball star Brittney Griner admitted in a Moscow court that she was in possession of cannabis oil when she was arrested at the Russian capital’s airport in February. However, he denies taking deliberate steps. According to his lawyer, Griner packed his luggage in a hurry and was therefore negligent.

One of the most popular women’s basketball players in the world, Griner plays for the top team in the American WNBA, the Phoenix Mercury. In the months since the American league was shut down, he has been playing in the Russian league for years, where he makes more money than in the United States.

She gets ten years in prison. The U.S. claims he was wrongfully detained. The country believes that Greiner is the victim of what’s known as hostage diplomacy: the arrest of foreigners on fraudulent or exaggerated charges to get something done by another government.

Countries like Iran and China are regularly accused of such practices. Arrived there recently The release of two Iranian-British women After years in prison, the United Kingdom owed Iran another half a billion dollars in exchange. Two Canadian businessmen were arrested in China a few years ago after Canada arrested a Chinese top woman at telecommunications giant Huawei. Huawei’s top woman freed after Canada was missing.

Merchant of Death

According to the United States, such considerations also played a role in Griner’s detention. Griner’s case falls under the responsibility of Roger Carstens, the US Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Cases. Among other things, the timing of his arrest a week before the Russian invasion of Ukraine raises questions. Russia may have locked her up as a deterrent, the reason.

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Another possibility that has been suggested is that Russia wants to arrange a prisoner exchange. Russian media have speculated a trade with an arms dealer nicknamed Viktor Bode Merchant of Death. Bolt seat 25 years imprisonment Because he wanted to supply weapons to FARC rebels who could use them to harass US security forces in Colombia.

Letter from Griner

Kreiner’s family has urged the US government to release him. Criner sent a letter to President Biden, saying he feared he would never be released. Biden later called Greiner’s wife and said he was doing everything he could to free her.

Russia has denied that Griner is being held for diplomatic reasons. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov says that “American efforts to make noise in public will not help solve the problems at hand.” He also says Russia is ready to talk with the United States about the fate of Kreiner after the judge’s decision.