Brittney Griner took the stand Wednesday (July 27) in a Russian court for her ongoing trial for drug charges, which could land the WNBA star in prison for10 years.
The trial began with Griner being cross-examined by the defense. The Phoenix Mercury star told the defense attorney Maria Blagovolina that when she “went through passport control and security at the Moscow airport on Feb. 17, a staff member with a dog asked her to open her bags, before finding two cartridges,” per NBC News. That’s when a second airport employee “opened the cartridges, smelled them”; shortly after her passport was taken and she had to sign documents. According to Griner she had to use Google Translate to understand the documents because the interpreter didn’t explain to her what she was signing nor informed her of her rights.
By then, Griner missed her connecting flight to Yekaterinburg where the WNBA star plays basketball for the premier league. She was able to call her lawyers despite her phone being confiscated but they would not be able to see the athlete until the following morning.
“At that point, it felt like I was being held against my will,” she said. “I asked again what’s going on and when can I see my lawyer. I was then told I have to be interrogated.”
She was then cross-examined by the prosecution, who asked her about her guilty plea to drug smuggling.
“I do understand charges against me, I do take responsibility for them being in my bag, but I didn’t plan on bringing anything to Russia,” she told the court.
The next hearing scheduled for Griner will happen on August 2.