Thursday, June 30, 2022

Russian court extends WNBA star Brittney Griner’s pretrial detention a third time, per report

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WNBA star Brittney Griner has already been detained in Russia for 118 days. A timeline for her return home, according to a report from the Russian news agency TASS, has gotten longer. 

TASS reported Tuesday that a Russian court extended Griner’s pretrial detention, forcing her to remain in custody until at least July 2. The Khimki district court of the Moscow region has already extended Griner’s pretrial detention twice. 

The Associated Press reported that members of the Phoenix Mercury, Griner’s WNBA team, met with State Department officials on June 13. The AP confirmed that officials from the State Department’s specialized office that advocates for hostages and wrongfully detained Americans were involved in the meeting. 

After the meeting, the Mercury released a statement from veteran Diana Taurasi. 

“There is a lot involved in getting her back home and safe, they’re working relentlessly,” Taurasi’s statement read. “We’re here to do whatever we can to amplify and keep BG at the forefront, which is more important than any basketball game and anything else that’s going on in our lives. We want BG to come home as soon as possible, it’s number one on our list.”

Griner, a seven-time WNBA All-Star, was detained at Sheremetyevo International Airport on Feb. 17 after vape cartridges containing hashish oil were allegedly found in her luggage. According to The New York Times, Griner could face up to 10 years in Russian prison if convicted. Early in May, the U.S. government reclassified Griner as “wrongfully detained” and proceeded to transfer her case to the State Department Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs.

For CBS Sports’ complete look at Griner’s situation, click here

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