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WNBA star Brittney Griner set for an extra month in Russian prison

Facing an increasingly difficult legal situation in Russia, the American government has now become officially involved in the WNBA star’s battle for freedom.

Paul Rudder
How long has Brittney Griner played in Russia?

Having been in a Russian jail since February it now seems the Griner’s incarceration is set to be extended by another month

Brittney Griner set for another month in a Russian prison

According to reports on Friday, WNBA star Brittney Griner’s pre-trial detention in Russia is now set to be extended by a further month. Griner’s legal representative Alexander Boikov explained that it is actually a short extension as he believes her case will actually go to trial in the near future. A seven-time WNBA All-Star, Griner was taken into custody at Moscow’s airport back in february when she was found to be carrying vape cartridges which allegedly contained cannabis oil in her luggage. As per Russian law, the offense carries a maximum of 10 years in prison which Griner could potentially face if she is convicted.

Additional reports also indicated that Griner was “handcuffed during her “brief” court appearance where it was ruled that her detention would be extended. Griner was also seen with her dreadlocks hidden under a red hoodie and her face held low.

The U.S.A. responds to Brittney Griner’s detention

As one can expect the United States government has not taken the WNBA star’s detention lightly. Indeed, the American government is currently trying to negotiate Griner’s return to the states. When first held by Russian authorities, it is understood that the United States government took the decision to delay proceedings until her next hearing which is scheduled for May 19th. With this most recent development, however, American officials have taken the stance that Griner has been wrongfully detained.

In a statement made by the State Department, the government advised that “The Department of State has determined that the Russian Federation has wrongfully detained U.S. citizen Brittney Griner. With this determination, the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Roger Carstens will lead the interagency team for securing Brittney Griner’s release.” To date Griner has been incarcerated for three months with no formal trial having taken place. In that time the geopolitical landcape of the world has become increasingly tense with the outbreak of war between Russia and the Ukraine. Needless to say, said conflict has made already bad relations between the Kremlin and Washington worse. At this point it would be anyone’s guess as to how Griner’s case will play out, but one can only hope that justice will prevail.


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