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U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner has been released by Russia from a penal colony in a negotiated prisoner-release deal, a U.S. official said. She is in U.S. custody on plane back to the United States. President Joe Biden said on Thursday, ending what he called months of “hell.”
Ms. Griner, a two-time Olympian, was serving hard time in Russia for a nine-year drug conviction for the possession and smuggling of less than a gram of hashish oil.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said that Ms. Griner was exchanged for Russian citizen Viktor Bout at Abu Dhabi Airport on Thursday. “The Russian citizen has been returned to his homeland,” the ministry said in a Telegram post.
In July, Ms. Griner pleaded guilty to possessing the hashish oil and apologized for what she said was an honest mistake. Before being sentenced in August, she appealed to the court, saying she hoped the ruling “does not end my life here.”
This is wonderful news.
The Culture Keeper-
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