Brittney Griner Appears in Russian Court as Trial Date Is Set

Brittney Griner appears in court in Russia on June 27, 2022. (Credit: YouTube/WFAA)

Four and a half months after she was detained, Brittney Griner appeared in a Russian court on Monday for a preliminary hearing where her trial date was set for Friday, July 1.

According to the Associated Press, Griner was ordered to remain in custody for the duration of her criminal trial on cannabis possession charges.

The WNBA star and U.S. Olympic gold medalist was handcuffed as several guards and a police dog escorted her out of the hearing.

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The Phoenix Mercury star was detained at Moscow Airport on Feb. 17, after Russian officials allegedly found vape cartridges with hashish oil in her luggage.

In May, the U.S. government said Griner had been “wrongfully detained” by Russian authorities.

Griner, 31, had traveled overseas in her off-season to make additional money and planned to play for a Russian team. She now faces 10 years in prison if convicted.

According to the AP, “Fewer than 1% of defendants in Russian criminal cases are acquitted.”

Supporters of Griner, including LeBron James, have been calling for the U.S. government to intervene.

Earlier this month, James shared a petition on social media calling for Griner’s release.

Last month Griner’s wife Cherelle described her as “a political pawn” and urged President Joe Biden to help secure her freedom.