Russian prosecutors ask for 9.5-year prison sentence for Brittney Griner
- Russian prosecutors have lobbied for a 9.5-year sentence for WNBA superstar Brittney Griner.
- Griner was arrested and tried after Russian airport officials allegedly found drugs in her luggage.
Russian prosecutors asked a judge to give a nine-and-a-half year prison sentence to the WNBA star Brittney Griner, who was on trial on drug-smuggling charges.
Griner had been detained in Russia since February, when customs agents in Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport claimed to find vapes containing hashish oil in her luggage.
The prosecutors' recommendation came on Thursday, the final day of her trial in Moscow. The charge of the large-scale transportation of drugs can carry a sentence of up to ten years in prison in Russia.
Last week the US offered to exchange a convicted Russian arms dealer, Viktor Bout, for Griner and Paul Whelan, a former US Marine also detained in Russia. Russia has not formally responded to the offer.
Andrew Roth, the Moscow correspondent for The Guardian, reported that a verdict could come as soon as Thursday evening local time.
Griner pleaded guilty to the charge in early July in hopes that it would make it easier for a prisoner swap.
Griner's lawyer said earlier this week that she expected the verdict to come and the trial to be over "very soon."
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