According to reports, WNBA star Brittney Griner has been released from a Russian prison. According to U.S. officials, Russian and American agreed on a one-for-one prisoner swap for international arms dealer Viktor Bout. After weeks of negotiations, the swap terms were agreed upon and received final approval by President Biden within the last week. The swap took place in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates and she is now in U.S. Custody.
Bout, nicknamed the “Merchant of Death,” was serving a 25-year sentence for conspiring to kill Americans, acquire and export anti-aircraft missiles, and provide material support to a terrorist organization. The film “Lord of War” starring Nicholas Cage was loosely based on Bout who was believed to be one of the biggest arms dealers in the world.
Griner, who played in Russia during the WNBA off-season, was arrested at a Russian airport in February 2022 after cannabis-derived oil cartridges were in her luggage. She pled guilty and was sentenced to 9 years in prison. President Joe Biden and his administration had been under scrutiny for not getting Griner home.
The swap did not involve Paul Whelan, an American Citizen and former Marine accused of spying. He is currently serving a 16-year prison sentence and was hoping to be a part of the swap to bring Griner home.
We will have more on the story as it develops
SOURCE | CNN