The defense team for Brittney Griner, the American basketball star sentenced to prison in Russia on drug smuggling charges, said on Monday that it had appealed the verdict as Russian diplomats began to speak more openly about a potential prisoner exchange with the United States.
Maria Blagovolina, a partner at the law firm that has represented Ms. Griner, confirmed the appeal of the verdict, which was reached this month by the Khimki City Court outside Moscow. The grounds of the appeal were not immediately clear.
Ms. Griner’s legal team has said that the appeal, which was expected, would most likely take up to three months to be adjudicated. Russian officials have
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