Ms. Griner pleaded guilty last week, telling the judge she had “no intent” to break the law. In the Russian justice system, the trial process continues even after defendants plead guilty.
Her lawyers have argued that she had packed in a hurry. At the hearing on Friday, they provided evidence including “a doctor’s appointment for the substance that, due to an oversight of B.G., remained among her belongings when crossing the border,” according to a statement from Maria Blagovolina, a partner in the law firm Rybalkin, Gortsunyan, Dyakin and Partners.
Ms. Griner has found herself caught in the growing acrimony between the Kremlin and the Biden administration, which has pledged to do everything it can to secure her freedom. Facing a possible 10-year sentence if convicted, in a justice system that heavily favors the prosecution, Ms. Griner has expressed fear that she may never be freed, and wrote in a recent letter to President Biden: “Please don’t forget about me.”