Brittney Griner's prison sentence is 'clearly political' and she'll have to face a 'kangaroo court' in Moscow to appeal, according to Trevor Reed, a Marine veteran who was detained in Russia for nearly three years

·2 min read
Brittney Griner.
Evgenia Novozhenina/Pool/Reuters
  • Trevor Reed was sentenced in Russia to nine years in prison in 2020 before he was released in April.

  • Reed was set free through a prisoner swap for a Russian pilot who was convicted on cocaine trafficking charges.

  • Griner will have to face "another kangaroo court in Moscow" if she wants to appeal, Reed said.

A former US Marine who was detained in Russia for nearly three years said that the prison sentencing for Brittney Griner is "clearly political."

"Regardless of how you feel about Brittney Griner's case, that sentence is clearly political. There's no denying that," Reed told CNN on Friday.

The WBNA star was sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison on Thursday on drug charges after she was accused of having less than a gram of cannabis oil in her luggage.

In 2019, Reed was charged with assaulting and endangering the lives of two police officers during an altercation.

A Russian court sentenced Reed to nine years in a prison camp before he was released in April through a prisoner swap with Konstantin Yaroshenko, a Russian pilot that was serving a prison term in the US for cocaine trafficking charges.

Reed said Griner will have a chance to appeal Russia's decision but she will have to face "another kangaroo court in Moscow."

"So after that trial, depending on Brittney's decision on whether she wants to appeal or not, she may stay in Moscow at the detention facility that she is already at until her appeals are completed," he told CNN. "Or if she chooses not to go to appeals, they may transfer her to a forced labor camp."

The US proposed a prisoner swap for Griner in exchange for Viktor Bout, a convicted Russian arms dealer.

"Considering the fact that the Russian government is considering exchanging her, they may also decide to leave her in Moscow to make it easier for her to be returned to the United States," Reed said.

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