Brittney Griner's statement to court ahead of verdict in Russia drugs trial

Court hearing of U.S. basketball player Brittney Griner
U.S. basketball player Brittney Griner, who was detained at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport and later charged with illegal possession of cannabis, looks on inside a defendants' cage before a court hearing in Khimki outside Moscow, Russia August 4, 2022. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina/Pool

Aug 4 (Reuters) - Here are some highlights from U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner's statement to a court in Russia on Thursday as she faced a verdict in a trial on drugs charges that could see her sentenced to up to 10 years in prison: read more

"My parents taught me two important things: one, take ownership of your responsibilities and two, work hard for everything that you have. That's why I pled guilty to my charges. I understand everything that has been said against me, the charges that are against me, and that is why I pled guilty. But I had no intent to break any Russian laws"

"I want the court to understand that this was an honest mistake that I made while rushing, under stress, trying to recover from COVID and just trying to get back to my team."

"I know everybody keeps talking about political pawn and politics, but I hope that is far from this courtroom."

"I made an honest mistake and I hope that in your ruling, that it doesn't end my life here."

"I want to say again that I had no intent on breaking any Russians laws. I had no intent, I did not conspire or plan to commit this crime."

"I never meant to hurt anybody. I never meant to put in jeopardy the Russian population. I never meant to break any laws here."

"I want to apologise to my teammates, to my club UMMC, to the fans and the city of Ekat (Yekaterinburg) for my mistake that I made and the embarrassment that I brought onto them. I want to also apologize to my parents, my siblings, the Phoenix Mercury organisation back at home, the amazing women of the WNBA and my amazing spouse back at home."

"Again I want to apologise to my teammates and the organisation UMMC for any damage that I might have done to them. I never intended on hurting them. This is my second home and all I want to do is win championships and make them proud."

Reporting by Reuters Editing by Frances Kerry

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