WNBA star Brittney Griner’s pretrial detention in Russia has been extended by one month, her lawyer said.
Lawyer Alexander Boikov told the Associated Press about the result of a Friday court hearing in Moscow and explained that the relatively short extension indicated the case would go to trial soon.
"Diplomats from the U.S. Embassy in Moscow attended the hearing on May 13 and were able to speak with Ms. Griner," a State Department official told the Washington Examiner. "She is doing as well as can be expected in these circumstances."
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Griner was arrested on Feb. 17 at a Moscow airport while entering the country and she was accused of illegally bringing vape cartridges containing hashish oil. She plays professional basketball in Russia during the WNBA offseason, like many others, and has been playing for UMMC Ekaterinburg for the past six seasons. The basketball star has not been charged.
The State Department considers Griner to be "wrongfully detained,” it announced earlier this month. The official didn't address Griner's now-extended pretrial detention but reiterated their stance on her being in Russian custody. Her designation means her situation is being handled by the office of the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Roger Carstens, which leads the government's efforts on getting citizens wrongfully detained abroad released.
The trial had been slated for May 19, and Griner faces up to 10 years in prison on the charges.
The State Department did not respond to a request for comment.
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Trevor Reed, a former Marine, had been detained for nearly three years in Russia before the two countries agreed to a prisoner exchange weeks ago. He was arrested in August 2019, and his trial didn’t begin until the following March.
Comparatively, Paul Whelan, another former Marine, is still being detained in Russia. He was arrested in late December of 2018 on allegations that he was a spy. His trial did not start for more than a year, in March of 2020.