Britney Greiner: The Russian trial of the American basketball star has begun

Britney Greiner: The Russian trial of the American basketball star has begun
Greiner, 31 years old The Phoenix Mercury player who plays in Russia during the WNBA off-season, was arrested February 17 at Moscow Airport.

Russian authorities accused her of smuggling large quantities of narcotics, a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Greiner is currently being held in a pretrial detention center north of Moscow. Her detention has been extended by six months pending the outcome of the trial, according to her lawyer.

Earlier this week, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan confirmed that Greener is “unjustly detained, unjustly detained, and we have made that clear as an official decision of the US government.”

US Chargé d’Affairs Elizabeth Rudd was also seen arriving in court on Friday for Greiner’s hearing.

A verdict is not expected on the first day of her trial, which is taking place in the Khimki city court outside the Russian capital.

Graner’s supporters have expressed concern that the basketball star might be used as a political tool, given the rising tensions amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Her detention, which has been repeatedly extended, sparked a wave of support among dozens of organizations in the United States that joined Greiner’s wife, Cheryl, in urging President Joe Biden to strike a swap deal with Russian authorities for Greiner’s release and return home. safely as soon as possible.

When speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One earlier this week, Sullivan declined to provide details of US efforts to resolve the Grenier case, citing the “sensitive issue,” but emphasized that the Biden administration was “actively engaged.”

Griner was named an honorary starter for the WNBA All-Star Game last week, and the All-Star Game is scheduled for July 10 in Chicago. Phoenix Mercury coach Vanessa Nygaard told reporters before the team’s game Monday against the Indiana Fever that her arrest remains “a tough one for our team.”

She expressed the hope that Grenier would soon return home and that President Biden would take “steps to ensure her return home.”

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