The lawyer for WNBA star Brittney Griner says her pre-trial detention in Russia has been prolonged by one month
MOSCOW — The lawyer for WNBA star Brittney Griner mentioned Friday her pre-trial detention in Russia has been prolonged by one month.
Alexander Boykov advised The Related Press he believed the comparatively quick extension of the detention indicated the case would come to trial quickly. She has been in detention for almost three months.
She appeared for the temporary listening to handcuffed, her dreadlocks lined in a purple hoodie and her face held low.
Boykov mentioned “We didn’t obtain any complaints in regards to the detention circumstances from our consumer.”
Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, was detained at a Moscow airport after vape cartridges containing oil derived from hashish had been allegedly present in her baggage, which might 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 felony offense with out making any political associations.
However it comes amid Moscow’s battle in Ukraine that has introduced U.S.-Russian relations to the bottom degree for the reason that Chilly Warfare.
Regardless of the pressure, Russia and america carried out an sudden prisoner trade 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 partially as a result of Yaroshenko had already served a protracted portion of his jail sentence.
The Russians could contemplate Griner a possible a part of one other such trade.
The State Division final week mentioned it now regards Griner as wrongfully detained, a change in classification that means the U.S. authorities shall be extra energetic in making an attempt to safe her launch even whereas the authorized case performs out. The standing change locations her case underneath the purview of the division’s Particular Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, which is answerable for negotiating for the discharge of hostages and People thought-about wrongfully detained.
Additionally engaged on the case now could be 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.
It’s 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 underneath 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 Value 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 speak any additional about her case.