Russia extends detention of WNBA star Brittney Griner by a month following court appearance
The State Department recently changed its classification of Griner to 'wrongfully detained.'
An attorney for WNBA star Brittney Griner said Friday that the basketball player's pretrial detention in Russia has been extended by one month.
Griner has already been in detention for three months, though her attorney – Alexander Boykov – told the Associated Press he believes the relatively short extension of the detention indicates the case will soon come to trial.
The player appeared, handcuffed, for a brief hearing, sporting dreadlocks covered by a red sweatshirt.
Her lawyer said he did not "receive any complaints about the detention conditions" from his client.
Griner was detained at the start of the year when several vape cartridges containing oils derived from cannabis were allegedly found in her luggage in Moscow. In Russia, such an offense can carry a maximum penalty of a decade in prison.
The administration of President Joe Biden says Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, is being wrongfully detained and is working, with the WNBA, toward her release – though, any progress on that front is unclear.
Last week, the State Department said it now regards Griner as wrongfully detained, meaning that the government will play a more active role in attempting to secure her release, even as the legal process plays out in the Russian courts.