Brittney Griner to swap prisoners with Russian ‘merchant of death’ arms dealer Friday | US News

American basketball star Brittney Griner was freed in a prisoner exchange, a U.S. official said.

She was held in Russia after her conviction in August, Sentenced to nine years in prison.

Ms Gliner was detained in February when customs agents said they found vaping canisters containing marijuana oil in luggage at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport.

She was released in exchange for convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, known as the “merchant of death”.

President Joe Biden said he had spoken to Ms Greener and she was “safe” and “on the way home.”

According to the Russian foreign ministry, the exchange took place at Abu Dhabi airport.

For nearly two decades, Bout was one of the world’s most notorious arms dealers, selling arms to rogue states, rebel groups and murderous warlords in Africa, Asia and South America.

The Russian government has been keen to bring him back since his arrest in an elaborate U.S. sting.

Biden authorized Bout’s release, underscoring escalating pressure on his administration to release Ms Greener, especially after her criminal case was recently resolved subsequently transferred to exile.

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