A russian court has sentenced the US basketball star Brittney Griner to nine years in prison on drugs charges after finding her guilty of drug smuggling Griner an olympic gold medalist had admitted having vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her possession when she was detained in february but she said she hadn't intended to break the law.
This was almost the toughest sentence that brittany griner could have got the charge of drug smuggling, was one that would have that has a sentence of up to 10 years and she got nine years.
We knew that she would be convicted because she had pled guilty, she said that she had brought those vape cartridges in but she hadn't meant to do so it was a mistake she hadn't meant to break the law but the court found that she had deliberately done so and said that she was guilty of drug smuggling the reason pled guilty was that.
She was hoping for a more lenient sentence that obviously hasn't happened and you could see how serious the expression was on her face as the judge spoke and she was listening to her interpreter following every word finally finding out what her fate would be now it may not be that she will that she will serve all of that time or even most of it because the united states has put forward a proposal to the russians to bring her back.
Presumably, a prisoner swap although that hasn't been confirmed but we did get a statement from president biden he again repeated that she was wrongfully detained he said this sentence was unacceptable he said that russia should release her immediately and he said that his administration would continue to work as hard as it could to bring her and another american detained in russia paul weyland home as soon as they could and in terms of the president has said in in that statement which we've seen which you've referred to is there much scope for for that to happen what's the capacity for the president to be able to do that well.
We know that there are serious negotiations about this the state department took the almost unprecedented step a couple of weeks ago of announcing publicly that it had made a substantial offer to the russians and was waiting to hear back and we know that the russians are interested in a negotiation that, According to russian media they're interested in bringing back for a russian arms dealer, who's in prison in the united states but we don't have any indication from the russians about how quickly they might move on that or whether they're going to wait for a while and see if they can get more out of it.
Mr Blinken, the secretary of state made very clear that the these talks were based entirely on a deal to bring the Griner and mr whalen home that they had nothing to do with the war on ukraine and so we'll we'll see though if the russians want to s well see whether they're wanting to get something more out of it maybe trying to get some sanctions lifted maybe trying to get more prisoners released.
It's not clear if that is indeed their objective but we're waiting now to see now that the sentence has been given and the the court has made its ruling whether things will move quickly or whether the russians will continue to wait.