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Russia makes major decision on WNBA star Brittney Griner’s detention

New leads on Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner's trial extension after being arrested for possession of illegal substances in a Russian airport, potential early release.

Brittney Griner

American Women’s Basketball player, Brittney Griner had been in Russian detained on February 17, 2022, as she was caught smuggling cannabis oil into the Sheremetyevo International Airport, Russia. For a good amount of her detention period, there are no leads about her safety and this has raised concerns among the United States officials. Considering the ongoing crisis in the country it was a very scary situation to handle in terms of her safety especially.

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Brittney Griner Arrested

Griner with the help of a local Russian lawyer was able to keep in touch with her representatives in the United States. Question about her ill-treatment arose after former captive and journalist Jason Rezaian spoke about his experiences being held in such a situation. The main concern was to keep her safe from any hostile activity that occurred in the tragic war between the Soviet troops and Ukraine.

US representatives did not reach out the Brittney Griner despite being granted permission

Brittney Griner

The two-time Olympian was taken into detention for nearly weeks before the court of Moscow announced the extension of her being in custody. The WNBA player is part of the much-beloved Phoenix Mercury and also contributes her time to a Russian team called UMMC Ekaterinburg. She has been actively taking part in their basketball league since 2015.

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The court continued the investigation following the extension which was prolonged until May 19, 2022. The US Consul had not visited Brittney Griner while she was in the pretrial detention center. The Russian authorities claimed that they had given permission for a visit under certain conditions that were undisclosed.

Brittney Griner could receive a glimmer of hope in her trial

Brittney Griner

As the extension period comes to an end, the Russian court announced that there will be a short extension of 30 days starting May 19, 2022. Brittney Griner’s lawyer, Alexander Boikov spoke to the Associated Press saying that a short extension is usually an indicator that the case is on verge of going to trial. In Russia, the possession of illegal substances constitutes 10 years in prison.

Many feared that the WNBA star would be held in custody for more than a year. However, this shows that the authorities are pushing to finalize a decision on the case. Griner could possibly be released after being at risk of not taking the stands at all.

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Rakibul John Rodgers is a budding writer who loves the sport of basketball. He enjoys being in the company of music and knows how to play the guitar, bass, drums, and ukulele. He is currently pursuing his final year at college in the field of journalism.