WNBA star Brittney Griner’s pre-trial detention in Russia is going to be extended by a month, the Associated Press reported on Thursday. Griner’s lawyer, Alexander Boikov, told the AP that it is a short extension because it’s likely her case will finally go to trial soon.
The seven-time WNBA All-Star was delayed at the Moscow airport in February after vape cartridges containing cannabis oil were allegedly found in her luggage. It’s an offense that carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison if Griner is convicted.
The AP reported that Griner was “handcuffed, her dreadlocks covered in a red hoodie and her face held low” in a “brief” court appearance where it was ruled her detention would be extended by a month.
The United States government is attempting to negotiate the WNBA star’s return to America. When Griner was first detained, the United States government was going to wait until her next hearing in Russia on May. 19 to begin discussing her release. But that changed when the US State Department.
“The Department of State has determined that the Russian Federation has wrongfully detained US citizen Brittney Griner. With this determination, the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Roger Carstens will lead the interagency team for securing Brittney Griner’s release,” a State Department spokesperson told ESPN .
In total, Griner has been delayed for three months in a Russian jail while no formal trial has been taken place.