Jul 27, 2022 - World

WNBA star Brittney Griner testifies at Russian drug trial

WNBA basketball superstar Brittney Griner holds photographs standing inside a defendants' cage before a hearing at the Khimki Court, outside Moscow on July 27, 2022
Brittney Griner holds photographs standing inside a defendants' cage before a hearing at the Khimki Court, outside Moscow on July 27. Photo: Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

WNBA star Brittney Griner testified Wednesday during her trial in Russia over drug charges that carry up to 10 years in prison.

Driving the news: Griner said Wednesday that her rights were not read to her when she was arrested at a Moscow airport in February after Russian authorities said they found a vape cartridge with hashish oil in her luggage, the Washington Post reports.

  • She also said that after inspectors found the cartridges she was instructed to sign documents without knowing what they meant, AP reports.
  • Speaking through a translator on Wednesday, Griner testified that the translation she received during the investigation was incomplete.
  • "I remember one time there was a stack of papers that [the translator] needed to translate for me. He took a brief look and then said the exact words were, ‘Basically you are guilty,'" she said.
  • Griner also reiterated that she did not intend to bring the cartridges with her to Russia.
  • "I still don’t understand how they ended up in my bag," Griner said, per the Washington Post.
  • "I had no intention to break the law." She added that she was "rushed packing and stressed packing... I was in a huge hurry."
  • Griner also testified that she was experiencing pain from injuries and that the cannabis oil inspectors found is widely used in the United States for medicinal purposes, per AP.

The big picture: Griner pleaded guilty earlier this month to the drug charges in Russia, but she said that there was "no intent" to bringing the vape cartridges to Russia.

  • Griner's lawyers also earlier this month told a Russian court that doctors in the U.S. prescribed Griner medical cannabis two years ago for chronic pain.

Go deeper... Trevor Reed accuses White House of "not doing enough" to bring Brittney Griner home

Go deeper