Brittney Griner’s lawyer informed the Associated Press on Friday, May 13, that her pre-trial detention in Russia had been extended by one month. Her lawyer, Alexander Boykov, also hinted that the brief stay in jail might indicate that the trial could begin shortly. Griner is a well-known Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) player who is now incarcerated in Russia. Griner has not complained about her imprisonment, according to Boykov. She has already been detained for more than three months. Following the update, Griner’s agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, took to Twitter to address the professional basketball player’s detention.
Colas went on to say:
“We expect The @WhiteHouse to utilize all available alternatives to return Brittney home as soon as possible and securely. This will assist to safeguard the integrity of sport and boost the trust of all athletes visiting overseas…”
Charges against Brittney Griner outlined
In February, the two-time Olympic gold winner was detained at the Moscow airport when vape cartridges containing cannabis extract oil were discovered in her baggage. Brittney Griner was charged with cocaine smuggling at the time, which may result in a jail term ranging from three to 10 years. If she is found guilty of smuggling the cartridges into the nation, the 31-year-old athlete may face a punishment of RUB4,000 – RUB5,000 (€55 – €70) or perhaps more. Possession of narcotics in excess of “0.5 grams of heroin, opium, or desomorphine” is a criminal violation in Russia, according to Drug Policy Facts.
The Associated Press reports:
“Griner arrived in court outside of Moscow shackled, wearing an orange sweatshirt and holding her face down.”
Meanwhile, WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert issued the following statement on May 3:
“As we begin the 2022 season, we will maintain Brittney at the forefront of all we do in basketball and in the community. We are still working to get Brittney home and are grateful for the community’s support of BG and her family during this very difficult time.”
Brittney Griner’s legal counsel’s motion for home arrest was denied.
According to sources, Brittney Griner’s legal team requested home arrest on May 12. The Russian court, however, denied the request. Instead, the Phoenix Mercury member will be held until the second week of June. Russia’s foreign ministry told CNN in a statement:
“She was apprehended while attempting to smuggle hash oil. This is a felony in Russia.”
The accusations, however, have yet to be substantiated in a Russian court of law.