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US-Russia prisoner swap: Brittney Griner released for Russian arms dealer, Viktor Bout

Telegraph, 09 Dec 2022
Joe Biden celebrated basketball star Brittney Griner’s release on Thursday, but was criticised for handing a notorious arms dealer to Russia in return and failing to free another imprisoned American.

Griner, 32, a two-time Olympic gold medallist and LGBTQ icon, was arrested in Moscow on drug charges just days before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Customs officials at a Moscow airport said they found vape canisters with cannabis oil in her luggage.

The WNBA star said she had permission from a US doctor to use medicinal cannabis for her injuries, but she was convicted of drug smuggling and sentenced to nine years in a Russian penal colony in what the US called a “show trial”.

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