Brittney Griner Appears in Russian Court on Cannabis Charges

A Russian court on Monday scheduled Brittney Griner’s trial to start Friday, according to her lawyer, and ruled the WNBA star’s detention be extended six months pending its outcome.

via: Daily Beast

Brittney Griner appeared in a Russian court on Monday for a preliminary hearing ahead of her July 1 trial for drug charges. The Phoenix Mercury star was detained at Moscow Airport in February after cannabis oil was allegedly found in her luggage. If convicted, Griner could be set to face a 10-year prison sentence; fewer than one in 100 trial defendants are acquitted in Russia. The arrest of the WNBA player has been slammed by human-rights organizations, who see the trial as politically motivated in response to America’s strident opposition to Vladimir Putin’s merciless war in Ukraine. The State Department designated Griner as wrongfully detained in May, when it passed oversight of her case to its presidential envoy for hostage affairs.

Griner, 31, a Phoenix Mercury player who plays in Russia during the WNBA’s offseason, was arrested February 17. Russian authorities claimed she had cannabis oil in her luggage and accused her of smuggling significant amounts of a narcotic substance, an offense punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

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