The lawyer for the US basketball star believes that a one month extension suggests that the case will be heard soon.
Published On 13 May 2022
A Russian court has extended Brittney Griner’s pre-trial detention by one month, a lawyer for the US basketball star has said.
Alexander Boykov stated to The Associated Press that he believes the short extension of detention indicates the case will be brought to trial soon.
Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medallist and All-Star centre in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), was detained at the airport in the Russian capital in February on charges of carrying vape cartridges that contained cannabis oil in her luggage.
She was handcuffed, with her dreadlocks covered by a red hoodie, and her face kept low for Friday’s brief hearing.
” We did not receive any complaints from our client about the detention conditions,” Boykov, her lawyer, said.
Her detention has come at a time of heightened tensions between Russia and the United States over the continuing Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the administration of US President Joe Biden has been pushing for access to Griner.
A consular officer representing the US Embassy in Moscow was present at the hearing, Ned Price, a spokesperson for the Department of State, said.
Price spoke to reporters during a briefing by phone. He said that Washington was closely monitoring the case and that Griner had been contacted by the consular officer.
” The officer was able confirm that Brittney griner is doing well in what can only have been described as extremely difficult circumstances,” Price stated.
American officials now have classified her arrest as “wrongful detainment”.
It’s not clear why the US government, who for weeks was more cautious in its approach, reclassified Griner to a wrongful prisoner.
However, federal law stipulates that there are many factors that can be considered when determining whether a detainee is an American citizen or denied due process.
It has been 84 days since our friend, Brittney Griner, has been wrongfully detained in Russia. It is now that she can return home. @WhiteHouse, we are paying attention and we are counting on you. #WeAreBG
— Breanna Stewart (@breannastewart) May 13, 2022
Griner plays for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury. He was there to play club basketball in Russia before the US season began. This is a common practice among players who can make much more in foreign leagues than they can on their domestic teams.
The 31-year-old played in Russia for the last seven years during the WNBA off-season, earning more than $1m per season — more than quadruple her WNBA salary.
Griner’s USA Basketball teammates broke their silence last month around her detention, saying they were hopeful everything was being done to get her home safely.
“It has been 84 days since our friend, Brittney Griner, has been wrongfully detained in Russia. It is time for her to come home,” USA Basketball and Se