“Americans are kidding themselves” Queen’s lawyer highlights loopholes for Biden administration amid Brittney Griner’s rescue
Brittney Griner, Viktor Bout's lawyer
The WNBA star Brittney Griner is being held captive in Russia under “intolerable circumstances,” according to the authorities. Last week, President Joe Biden visited their families to reassure them of his continuous support. Now, a well-known attorney engaged in the case has called attention to one obvious flaw.
Several media outlets are focusing on Brittney Griner’s choice to go back to her country at this time. The widely debated individual has spent more than 210 days in a Russian prison, where the prison life is unpleasant. Griner, a two-time Olympic Medalist, is accused of carrying marijuana infused vape cartridges into the country and is facing a nine-year prison term. She has been detained in Russia since February.
The US administration announced a potential prisoner swap in order to transfer Viktor Bout, a Russian arms dealer who is now in American custody, back to Russia in exchange for Griner and another American citizen, Marine Paul Whelan.
The complete summary of Brittney Griner and her situation in Russia
Brittney Griner has been held by Russian officials ever since she was seized in February at Sheremetyevo International Airport. The Russian Customs found vape cartridges with hashish oil in the baggage of the two time WNBA defensive player of the year and a seven-time all-star. After being found guilty of narcotics offences in Russia, Griner was given a nine-year prison sentence in August. On August 15, Griner’s legal team filed an appeal against her nine-year sentence. They assert that Griner’s sentence is nonetheless “excessive” notwithstanding the possibility that she might have received up to 10 years in jail. The defense attorneys claim that in comparable cases across Russia, other convicts received a shorter sentence and some of them also received parole.
On August 11, Russian officials disclosed that they are in discussions with the American administration over a potential prisoner swap that may have allowed Brittney Griner to return home for the first time since her arrest. The Viktor Bout, a well-known Russian arms trader who received a 25-year sentence in 2011, has allegedly been cited in connection with a potential prisoner swap, and the Biden administration feels that she is being detained in an illegal manner. Griner, 31, has won two Olympic gold medals and plays for the Phoenix Mercury. Since 2014, he has also taken part in UMMC Ekaterinburg’s WNBA offseason games in Russia.
Viktor Bout’s attorney speaks up
Viktor Bout was detained back in 2008 and received a 25-year prison term on crimes including the trafficking of weapons where h e recruited Queens-based attorney Steve Zissou in 2010. Zissou thinks a settlement may be reached shortly after the government revealed that they had made a sizable offer to bring Brittney Griner back. But he discloses one weak point that the US administration could be ignoring. He said: “The Americans are kidding themselves if they think they’ll get both Griner and Whelan back for Bout”. He still thinks it will take some time for the agreement to close. Despite the apparent total silence between the two sides, he was yet optimistic about the discussions.
In spite of the greatest efforts of American officials, Brittney Griner’s condition remains unknown. The government’s goal to secure Griner’s release through a prisoner swap deal has never been kept a secret. Many fans and well-known people have expressed objection to the release of a weapons dealer, but not everyone agrees with them. The WNBA star’s release hasn’t seen any major changes as of now, but we expect learning more details about her anticipated release from detention and return to the United States shortly. According to the most recent information, Brittney Griner and her family may still be hopeful despite their difficulties.