Brittney Griner attorneys welcome prospect of Russia prisoner change | Brittney Griner

Brittney Griner’s defence crew have given the chance of together with the WNBA megastar in a prisoner change a wary welcome, as Russia stated talks between Moscow and Washington on exchanging prisoners have been “ongoing”.

“Griner’s Russian defence team learned about US’s offer from the news … In any case, we would be really happy if Brittney will be able to come home and hope it will be soon,” stated the WNBA megastar’s attorneys, Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov, in a observation.

“The defence team is not participating in the swap discussions,” the attorneys added.

On Wednesday, the United States secretary of state, Antony Blinken, informed journalists that the United States presented a deal to Russia aimed toward bringing again Griner and any other jailed American, ex-US marine Paul Whelan.

CNN and the New York Times have reported that Washington was once keen to replace Russian hands trafficker Viktor Bout, who’s serving a 25-year jail sentence within the United States, as a part of a deal.

Commenting on Blinken’s statements, Russian overseas ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova informed newshounds on Thursday that negotiations between Moscow and Washington on exchanging prisoners are ongoing, however have now not “resulted in concrete results”.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov informed journalists that “so far there are no agreements in this area”.

Griner was once arrested at a Moscow airport in February. She said in courtroom previous this month that she had vape canisters containing hashish oil when she arrived in Russia however contends she had no felony intent and the canisters ended up in her baggage inadvertently. Griner faces as much as 10 years in jail if convicted.

The subsequent listening to is deliberate for two August.

“From a legal point of view, an exchange is only possible after a court verdict,” Griner’s attorneys stated.

Griner’s high-profile arrest has additionally introduced renewed consideration to the plight of Whelan, a former US marine who was once detained in a Moscow lodge in 2018 and sentenced to 16 years in jail two years later, accused of spying. Whelan has again and again denied the fees towards him.

Whelan attorney Vladimir Zherebenkov informed the Guardian on Thursday he believed Moscow sought after Bout to be a part of a change for his shopper.

According to Zherebenkov, Russia in 2020 proposed to replace Whelan for Bout and the Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko, an be offering he claimed was once rejected through the United States.

Zherebenkov stated that on the time, an American diplomat met Whelan in jail and stated that the industry was once “unrealistic because Russia will start to kidnap our citizens, illegally accuse them and then trade for them”.

Zherebenkov stated he believed that alternate this time would happen and was once practical.

“Now I think a trade is realistic because as far as I understand the Russian side has always been for a trade and in this case, it now appears to be the position of the American side.”

Russian officers have again and again expressed passion within the liberate of Bout, an hands broker as soon as labelled the “Merchant of Death”.

Bout’s spouse, Alla, informed RIA Novosti information company on Wednesday night time stated that her husband wasn’t conscious about any negotiations going down.

“We talked yesterday on the phone. Victor doesn’t know anything about the negotiations between Russia and the US. We, of course, assume such talks could be talking place … but we both don’t have any information on the talks,” she stated.

If a hit, Whelan and Griner’s prisoner change would mark the second one high-profile alternate between the 2 adversaries this yr. On 27 April , Russia and the United States performed a prisoner alternate swapping the previous US Marine Trevor Reed for Yaroshenko, who was once convicted of conspiracy to smuggle cocaine into the United States.

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