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Last minute: Brittney Griner freed after US-Russia prisoner swap



Image: DR | CNN video

US President Joe Biden announced today that WNBA player Brittney Griner has been released from detention in Russia in a prisoner exchange with Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, announced to CNN.

“She is safe, on a plane, on her way home. After months of being wrongfully detained in Russia, held under intolerable circumstances, Brittney will soon be back in the arms of her loved ones where she should have been all along." Cherelle. The ad was also published on the Twitter of the President of the United States.

Joe Biden announced Griner's release on Twitter, along with the player's wife, Cherelle

According to CNN, the prisoner exchange did not, however, include another American who the State Department has declared wrongfully detained, Paul Whelan. Biden acknowledged that Griner's release was ongoing while Whelan remained in jail, saying Whelan's family must have "mixed emotions" today. "It wasn't a choice of which American to take home," Biden said in the CNN video. “Unfortunately, for completely illegitimate reasons, Russia is treating Paul's case differently than Brittney's case. And while we still haven't gotten Paul released, we're not going to give up. We will never give up.” Brittney Griner had been condemned to nine years in prison in a penal colony in Russia after a judge found her guilty of transporting illegal drugs into the country. According to the indictment, Griner transported to Russia two cartridges for personal use, which contained 0,252 grams and 0,45 grams of hashish oil, totaling 0,702 grams.

Griner came to plead guilty of the charges, stressing that he never had “the intention to violate Russian law”. The basketball player explained that it was her carelessness and haste when packing her bags that caused the situation. "I packed in a hurry and the packages ended up accidentally ending up in my bag", said the athlete, who risked 9 years in prison. After almost 10 months she was finally released today.

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