Exchange of prisoners between “the merchant of death” and the basketball star: the US proposal to Russia to save Brittney Griner

The United States they presented to the Russia a “concrete proposal” for the release of American citizens inmates a Moscaincluding the female basketball champion Brittney Griner who in the last few hours has returned to court to testify in the trial against him. One exchange of prisoners which also involves Paul Whelan, a former marine arrested in Russia in 2018 on suspicion of spying. As the CnnWashington is willing to let go back to Moscow Viktor Boutand arms dealer Russian known as “the merchant of death“. The spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharovaconfirmed that the negotiation for the exchange of prisoners is underway, but has not yet led to results concrete.

Is it a proposal “substantial“, The Secretary of State limited himself to underlining Antony The blink announcing the deal to bring the Griner. He will discuss it with the Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in the phone call they will have in the next few days, the first since the beginning of the war in Ukraine. The Biden administration and the State Department have been accused in recent months of not being enough committed for the release of American citizens illegally detained from Moscow. The 31 year old champion of basketball has been detained in Russia since February 17 lastwhen she was arrested on charges of possession of cannabis oil, found in his e-cigarettes. At the beginning of July, Griner, who faces ten years in prison, had pleaded guilty to drug trafficking, specifying, however, that she did not know the rules in force in Russia.

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“I was not going to break Russian law ”, he reiterated in the new hearing held Wednesday in a court of Khimki, near Moscow, adding: “I would not do anything that could damage my team”. The athlete, wearing a team shirt – Phoenix Mercury – and black basketball pants, she said she was taken to a room by the Russian police and forced to sign documents without a lawyer present and without her rights having been read to her first. The documents were in Russian, said the athlete she tried to use Google Translate without, however, being able to understand exactly what he was signing.

After the appeals to president Joe Biden and also criticism from LeBron Jamesnow the states are moving towards an exchange of prisoners, like the one happened for the former marine Trevor Reedreleased from Russia after two years in exchange for the drug trafficker Konstantin Yaroshenko. In this case, according to the indiscretion of Cnnthe trading piece is precisely Viktor Bout. Ex Soviet military officeris currently serving a prison sentence of 25 years old in the United States on charges of conspiring to kill Americans, acquire and export anti-aircraft missiles and provide material support a an organization terrorist.

Bout was arrested in 2008 in a US 007 operation in Thailand. He supplied weapons to the Farc in Colombia, but was also accused of having assembled a fleet of cargo aircraft for trafficking in military-grade weapons to conflict zones around the world by 90’sfueling bloody conflicts from the Liberia at the Sierra Leone e all’Afghanistan. The life of the “merchant of death” has also become a film, shot in Hollywood.

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