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WNBA star Brittney Griner gets Russian trial date

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WNBA star Brittney Griner, charged with marijuana possession, is still a Russian prisoner. She was arrested in February, and her trial is scheduled to start Friday.

The 31-year-old Griner was arrested Feb. 17 at the Sheremetyevo International Airport. She was returning to the country to play for a Russian team. Law enforcement there allege Griner had marijuana vape cartridges in her luggage.

Griner appeared at a closed-door preliminary hearing on Monday. She was ordered to stand trial and her detention was also extended another six months to Dec. 20.

If convicted, Griner could face 10 years in prison. Fewer than 1% of defendants in Russian criminal cases are acquitted, and in Russia, acquittals can be overturned.

Griner plays center for the Phoenix Mercury and is a two-time U.S. Olympic gold medalist. Her wife, Cherelle, called Griner a “political pawn” and has lobbied President Joe Biden for Griner’s release.

The U.S. State Department reclassified Griner as “wrongfully detained.” Griner’s supporters are asking for a prisoner swap, like the one that brought Marine veteran Trevor Reed home.

When asked about a potential prisoner swap, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “As a general proposition, I have got no higher priority than making sure that Americans who are being illegally detained in one way or another around the world come home. I can’t comment in any detail on what we’re doing, except to say this is an absolute priority.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

TO THE ABSOLUTE ASTONISHMENT OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE, BRITTNEY GRINER IS STILL A RUSSIAN PRISONER.

THE WNBA STAR WAS ARRESTED FOUR MONTHS AGO AT AN AIRPORT WHILE RETURNING TO PLAY FOR A RUSSIAN TEAM. SHE ALLEGEDLY HAD SOME MARIJUANA VAPE CARTRIDGES IN HER BAGS.

GRINER APPEARED IN A RUSSIAN COURT MONDAY AND ORDERED TO STAND TRIAL, HER DETENTION WAS ALSO EXTENDED ANOTHER SIX MONTHS.

GRINER’S TRIAL IS SCHEDULED TO START FRIDAY.

IF CONVICTED, SHE COULD FACE 10 YEARS IN PRISON. FEWER THAN 1% OF DEFENDENTS IN RUSSIAN CRIMINAL CASES ARE ACQUITTED. AND IN RUSSIA, ACQUITTALS CAN BE OVERTURNED.

GRINER, CALLED A POLITICAL PAWN BY HER WIFE, WAS RECLASSIFIED AS WRONGFULLY DETAINED BY THE U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT WHO SAID ITS ACTIVELY WORKING FOR HER RELEASE.

WNBA star Brittney Griner, charged with marijuana possession, is still a Russian prisoner. She was arrested in February, and her trial is scheduled to start Friday.

The 31-year-old Griner was arrested Feb. 17 at the Sheremetyevo International Airport. She was returning to the country to play for a Russian team. Law enforcement there allege Griner had marijuana vape cartridges in her luggage.

Griner appeared at a closed-door preliminary hearing on Monday. She was ordered to stand trial and her detention was also extended another six months to Dec. 20.

If convicted, Griner could face 10 years in prison. Fewer than 1% of defendants in Russian criminal cases are acquitted, and in Russia, acquittals can be overturned.

Griner plays center for the Phoenix Mercury and is a two-time U.S. Olympic gold medalist. Her wife, Cherelle, called Griner a “political pawn” and has lobbied President Joe Biden for Griner’s release.

The U.S. State Department reclassified Griner as “wrongfully detained.” Griner’s supporters are asking for a prisoner swap, like the one that brought Marine veteran Trevor Reed home.

When asked about a potential prisoner swap, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “As a general proposition, I have got no higher priority than making sure that Americans who are being illegally detained in one way or another around the world come home. I can’t comment in any detail on what we’re doing, except to say this is an absolute priority.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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