US basketball player Brittney Griner, who was sentenced to 9 years behind bars for smuggling drugs by a Russian court in August, has been transferred to a prison where she will serve her sentence, the RBC news outlet was told by her lawyer.
Griner was held in a detention center in the Moscow region since March.
“On 4 November, our client Brittney Griner was taken out of the detention centre where she had been held since her arrest and transferred to a medium-security prison to serve her sentence. We currently don’t know where she is or where she is heading to,” the statement reads.
Earlier, Moscow Regional Court upheld Griner’s sentence. At the same time, the court recalculated the time she is supposed to serve in prison, taking into account her detention. The US basketball player will now spend around 8 years behind bars.
On 4 August, Griner was sentenced to 9 years in a medium-security prison. She was also slapped with a one-million-ruble fine (€16,250). The state prosecution argued that the evidence found proved she was guilty.
The basketball player was detained in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport on 17 February. Vape pods containing hash oil are believed to have been found in her luggage. Griner pled guilty during a court hearing on 7 July.
Reporters earlier revealed that the White House communicated a proposal to the Kremlin to swap Griner and Paul Whelan (found guilty of espionage against Russia) for Russian national Viktor Bout, a convicted arms dealer serving time in a US prison.