Russian Courtroom Extends Brittney Griner’s Pretrial Detention, Her Lawyer Says

A courtroom in Russia on Friday prolonged the pretrial detention of the WNBA star Brittney Griner till June 18, her lawyer stated.

Ms. Griner, one of the embellished athletes in ladies’s basketball, has been in Russian custody since mid-February on drug fees that may carry as much as 10 years in jail. The cost is predicated on allegations that she had vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her baggage when she was stopped on the Sheremetyevo airport close to Moscow in February.

Ms. Griner appeared in courtroom within the city of Khimki close to Moscow for a procedural listening to on Friday, in accordance with her lawyer, Aleksandr Boikov.

“She is OK,” Mr. Boikov stated in an interview, including that the courtroom denied his attraction to have Ms. Griner transferred to accommodate arrest. He stated he expects the trial to start in about two months.

Whereas Ms. Griner was arrested one week earlier than Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Russian authorities didn’t reveal her detention till days after the conflict started, elevating fears she might be used as a bargaining chip within the general disaster.

The US State Division has stated it had decided Ms. Griner was “wrongfully detained,” signaling its intention to get extra actively concerned within the scenario.

On the finish of April, Russia launched Trevor R. Reed, an ailing former American Marine who had been sentenced to 9 years in jail for assault, in a prisoner swap with the USA. That raised hopes that Ms. Griner may also be launched.

It’s typical of Russian courts to increase detention till trial, which then could take weeks to finish. Mr. Reed’s launch, for example, occurred after he was convicted and had spent years in a Russian jail.

Ms. Griner’s workforce and household have been comparatively quiet about her scenario.

A two-time Olympic gold medalist, Ms. Griner is one among a number of American gamers who compete for worldwide groups within the low season interval to complement their WNBA paychecks. She has performed for the UMMC workforce in Yekaterinburg, Russia, since 2014.

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