Brittney Griner’s appeal of her nine-year sentence on drug charges has been denied in a Russian court. The Tuesday decision from the Moscow court was expected by U.S. and international officials.
According to ESPN, U.S. officials believe Griner will be returned home through a prisoner swap, but Russian officials have not been responsive to “significant” offers that have been made.
“We are aware of the news out of Russia that Brittney Griner will continue to be wrongfully detained under intolerable circumstances after having to undergo another sham judicial proceeding today,” U.S. national security advisor Jake Sullivan said in a statement.
Griner could be seen via videoconference. Griner’s prison time will be recalculated due to time served.
“The verdict contains numerous defects and we hoped that the court of appeal would take them into consideration,” said Griner’s attorneys, Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov. “We still think the punishment is excessive and contradicts to the existing court practice.”
Griner was arrested on Feb. 17 and has been held for eight months.