Brittney Griner's Prisoner Swap for “Merchant of Death'' Has Been Denied

Brittney Griner's Prisoner Swap for “Merchant of Death'' Has Been Denied
Image ©Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports
✍️ Written by
Kuthula Magubane
🗓 Updated
May 19th 2023

After the latest updates on Brittney Griner's case on Tuesday, Jun 2nd, in regards to her 3rd pre-trial extension, more news has surfaced which gives an explanation to the decision made. Russian news agency TASS reported, citing a source, that talks had started for a prisoner exchange: Griner for Bout.

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The Russian state-run media seems to have been the only external source for information says the U.S State Department's Spokesperson Ned Price. He continued to share, "This case is problematic from top to bottom, it is precisely why we have characterized Brittney Griner as an unlawful detainee. It’s precisely why we are doing everything we can to seek and to affect her prompt release from Russian detention."

On that same Tuesday, a Russian Diplomat said that Russian officials will not be considering Brittney Griner for a prisoner swap with the U.S. “until the court investigation into her case is completed.”

Griner was rumored to be a potential candidate involved in a detainee swap involving Viktor Bout, who is halfway through serving a 25-year sentence in federal prison after he was convicted of conspiracy to kill American citizens, relating to the support of a Colombian terrorist organization.

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov gave the statement about Griner and Bout.

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