Russian Court Sets July 1 as Trial Date for Brittney Griner
According to Brittney Griner’s lawyer, Alexander Boikov, the WNBA player appeared in a Russian court Monday for a preliminary hearing ahead of her trial.
The Russian courts have stated that Griner must remain in custody until the start of her trial which has been set for Friday, July 1.
The hearing comes more than four months after Griner was arrested in February at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport while allegedly carrying illegal vape cartridges containing hash oil in her luggage.
According to her lawyer, he expects the trial to take up to two months. He also stated that Griner was doing okay and that she was being taken care of in the pretrial detention center.
The U.S. State Department previously determined that the Russian Federation wrongfully detained Griner.
“Our position for some time on this has been very clear. Brittney Griner should not be detained. She should not be detained for a single day longer,” said Ned Price, a State Department spokesperson.
The Office of the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, which focuses on hostage release and releasing Americans who have been unlawfully detained, is now taking care of Griner’s case.
Terri Carmichael Jackson, executive director of the WNBA, said, “This resolution sends a clear message: securing Brittney’s release must be the highest priority of the U.S. Government, and we know the American people support every effort made to bring her home.”
Griner could face up to 10 years behind bars if convicted.