Phoenix Mercury basketball star Brittney Griner had her pre-trial detention in Russia extended by one month, her lawyer said Friday.
Griner, 31, has been behind bars since Feb. 17 after flying into a Moscow airport. The WNBA star encountered trouble when going through Russian customs, where officials there allegedly discovered hashish oil vape cartridges in her luggage, according to Yahoo. Griner is under investigation for alleged transportation of drugs and could face up to 10 years in Russian prison, according to the outlet.
Griner’s attorney, Alexander Boykov, told the Associated Press that he believed the short extension meant that Griner’s case would come to trial in the near future. (RELATED: Brittney Griner Reportedly Pleads ‘Not Guilty,’ Will Be Held By Russia For Two More Months)
Russian authorities have extended Brittney Griner’s detention another 30 days and denied a request for house arrest, a source told @TJQuinnESPN.
More: https://t.co/X1ooPaCodP pic.twitter.com/55sLDbHi1x
— ESPN (@espn) May 13, 2022
The Biden administration has said Griner is being wrongfully detained, according to ESPN. Meanwhile, Russia has described Griner’s case as a criminal offense but did not make any political associations, according to the outlet.
The U.S. State Department also determined that Russia had wrongfully detained the WNBA star, according to Fox News. This signaled a change in classification for the State Department, indicating the administration will be more active in their efforts to release Griner while her trial plays out, ESPN noted.