May 16, 2022

WNBA-star Brittney Griner’s Russian detention extended by 1 month after court appearance, lawyer says

MOSCOW — The lawyer for WNBA star Brittney Griner mentioned Friday her pre-trial detention in Russia has been extended by one month.

Alexander Boykov advised The Related Press he believed the comparatively brief extension of the detention indicated the case would come to trial quickly. She has been in detention for practically three months.

She appeared for the temporary listening to handcuffed, her dreadlocks coated in a crimson hoodie and her face held low.

Boykov mentioned, (*1*)

Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, was detained at a Moscow airport after vape cartridges containing oil derived from hashish have been allegedly present in her baggage, which may carry a most penalty of 10 years in jail.

The Biden administration says Griner, 31, is being wrongfully detained. The WNBA and U.S. officers have labored towards her launch, with out seen progress.

The Russians have described Griner’s case as a prison offense with out making any political associations.

Nevertheless it comes amid Moscow’s battle in Ukraine that has introduced U.S.-Russian relations to the bottom stage for the reason that Chilly Conflict.

Regardless of the pressure, Russia and america carried out an surprising prisoner alternate final month – buying and selling ex-marine Trevor Reed for Konstantin Yaroshenko, a Russian pilot serving a 20-year federal sentence for conspiring to smuggle cocaine into the U.S. Whereas the U.S. doesn’t usually embrace such exchanges, it made the deal partly as a result of Yaroshenko had already served an extended portion of his jail sentence.

READ MORE: Marine from Texas Trevor Reed free of Russia as a part of prisoner alternate

The Russians could take into account Griner a possible a part of one other such alternate.

The State Division final week mentioned it now regards Griner as wrongfully detained, a change in classification that means the U.S. authorities will likely be extra lively in attempting to safe her launch even whereas the authorized case performs out. The standing change locations her case beneath the purview of the division’s Particular Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, which is answerable for negotiating for the discharge of hostages and Individuals thought of wrongfully detained.

Additionally engaged on the case now’s a middle led by Invoice Richardson, the previous U.S. ambassador to the United Nations who helped the discharge of a number of hostages and detainees, together with Reed.

SEE ALSO: Brittney Griner thought of wrongfully detained in Russia, US officers say

It is not totally clear why the U.S. authorities, which for weeks had been extra circumspect in its strategy, reclassified Griner as a wrongful detainee. However beneath federal legislation, there are a variety of things that go into such a characterization, together with if the detention relies on being an American or if the detainee has been denied due course of.

U.S. State Dept. spokesman Ned Worth has confirmed that U.S. Ambassador John Sullivan had a gathering with Russian counterparts however wouldn’t say whether or not Griner was mentioned or discuss any additional about her case.