US basketball star Brittney Griner will spend another month in pretrial detention in Russia.
She’s been held since February after Russian authorities say a search of her luggage revealed vape cartridges containing cannabis oil. Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and Phoenix Mercury player who was a star for Baylor University, was playing in a Russian league during the WNBA offseason, which she has done for the last seven seasons.
Griner appeared in a Moscow court recently with her attorney Alexander Boykov. Attorney Boykov remarked that pretrial the detention was extended for a month, which means that we can expect that the final charge will be brought soon and the case will be sent to court and he hopes her trial will begin soon.
Since Brittney’s detention, there’ve been constant calls and pleas for the White House to intervene on Griner’s behalf. Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee recently brought further attention to the issue when she held another press conference in which she called for Griner’s release.
“The actions taken were enormously suspicious. And from the very beginning, I asked for the State Department to be engaged. I knew that our State Department’s engagement would be key to finding out the truth,” Jackson Lee said.
“We must keep Brittney’s case on the forefront and make clear to the White House that her release should be one of the highest priorities for our government,” said Griner’s wife, Cherelle Griner. “I’m grateful to know that these leaders in Congress have Brittney’s back and will continue to do everything in their power to get her home.”
If convicted, Griner could spend 10 years in a Russian prison. The US State Department says that she was wrongfully detained and that it is trying to win her release.