The trial of the US basketball player Brittney Griner has started in Moscow.
The 31-year-old sportswoman was arrested at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport in mid-February for owning capsules of cannabis oil, according to the security service. It is an illegal narcotic in Russia. It can carry a penalty of up to ten years in prison.
Washington has called for her immediate release. In the US, it is suggested that she was only arrested because she is a sports star. Russia would like to put her in the US with her and possibly exchange her for a Russian prisoner in the US later on.
The Kremlin again stressed on Friday that politics had nothing to do with the case and that the judges should rule on the charges. It is extremely rare in Russia in such criminal cases that a defendant is not sentenced to prison.