Things are not looking great for Brittney! The WNBA star pretrial detention in Russia has been extended by one month according to her Lawyer.
ESPN reports that Alexander Boykov told The Associated Press he believed the relatively short extension of the detention indicated the case would come to trial soon.
She has been in detention for nearly three months.
She appeared for the brief hearing handcuffed, her dreadlocks covered in a red hoodie and her face held low.
Boykov said “We did not receive any complaints about the detention conditions from our client.”
This comes after the Biden Administration declare officially that Griner, 31, is being ‘wrongfully detained’.
Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, was detained at a Moscow airport after vape cartridges containing oil derived from cannabis were allegedly found in her luggage, which could carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
The WNBA and U.S. officials have worked toward her release, without visible progress.
The Russians have described Griner’s case as a criminal offense without making any political associations.
But it comes amid Moscow’s war in Ukraine that has brought U.S.-Russian relations to the lowest level since the Cold War.
Despite the strain, Russia and the United States carried out an unexpected prisoner exchange last month — trading ex-marine Trevor Reed for Konstantin Yaroshenko, a Russian pilot serving a 20-year federal sentence for conspiring to smuggle cocaine into the U.S. While the U.S. does not typically embrace such exchanges, it made the deal in part because Yaroshenko had already served a long portion of his prison sentence.
The Russians may consider Griner a potential part of another such exchange.
The State Department last week said it now regards Griner as wrongfully detained, a change in classification that suggests the U.S. government will be more active in trying to secure her release even while the legal case plays out.
The status change places her case under the purview of the department’s Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, which is responsible for negotiating for the release of hostages and Americans considered wrongfully detained.
Also working on the case now is a center led by Bill Richardson, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations who helped the release of multiple hostages and detainees, including Reed.
It’s not entirely clear why the U.S. government, which for weeks had been more circumspect in its approach, reclassified Griner as a wrongful detainee.
But under federal law, there are a number of factors that go into such a characterization, including if the detention is based on being an American or if the detainee has been denied due process
U.S. State Dept. spokesman Ned Price has confirmed that U.S. Ambassador John Sullivan had a meeting with Russian counterparts but would not say whether Griner was discussed or talk any further about her case.
— Aya Abdeen (she/her) (@ayaabdeen__) May 13, 2022
NEWS: Brittney Griner’s pretrial detention extended 30 days by a Russian court today, sources tell me. A judge also denied a second request to move her to home detention. She was expected to appear on the 19th but the date was suddenly moved up. What does it mean?
— T.J. Quinn (@TJQuinnESPN) May 13, 2022
We love you Brittney Griner. We love you. #WeAreBG
— Arielle (Ari) Chambers (@ariivory) May 13, 2022
It’s been 429 days since I’ve played basketball, but that means nothing compared to the 85 days of our sister Brittney Griner being wrongfully detained in Russia. It is time for her to come home. Know that we are watching @WhiteHouse. Know that we are paying attention. #WeAreBG
— Alysha Clark (@Alysha_Clark) May 13, 2022
I wish Brittney Griner being detained in Russia would receive the coverage on the news and world-wide stage that a player from the NFL, NBA, MLB or NHL would have in the exact same situation.
— Chuck Thompson (@FiveStateHoops) May 13, 2022
This Brittney Griner situation is unacceptable. If this were a high ticket MALE athlete…this would be headline news, not a few pages in.
— Lady with an opinion 🇺🇦 (@ladymitopinion) May 13, 2022