A court docket in Russia on Friday prolonged the pretrial detention of the W.N.B.A. star Brittney Griner till June 18, her lawyer mentioned, in a high-profile case that got here on the peak of tensions between Russia and the US.
Ms. Griner, one of the crucial embellished athletes in ladies’s basketball, has been in Russian custody since mid-February on drug fees that may carry as much as 10 years in jail. The cost relies on allegations that she had vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her baggage when she was stopped on the Sheremetyevo airport close to Moscow in February.
Ms. Griner appeared in court docket within the city of Khimki close to Moscow for a procedural listening to on Friday, based on her lawyer, Aleksandr Boikov.
“She is OK,” Mr. Boikov mentioned in an interview, including that the court docket denied his attraction to have Ms. Griner transferred to deal with arrest. He mentioned he expects the trial to start in about two months.
Whereas Ms. Griner was arrested one week earlier than Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Russian authorities didn’t reveal her detention till days after the battle started, elevating fears she could possibly be used as a bargaining chip within the total disaster.
The U.S. State Division has mentioned that it had decided Ms. Griner was “wrongfully detained,” signaling its intention to get extra actively concerned within the state of affairs.
Russia’s launch of Trevor R. Reed, an ailing former American Marine who had been sentenced to 9 years in jail for assault, on the finish of April in a prisoner swap with the US raised hopes that Ms. Griner would possibly comply with go well with.
It’s typical of Russian courts to increase detention till trial, which then can take weeks to finish. Mr. Reed’s launch, as an illustration, occurred after he was convicted and had spent years in a Russian jail.
Ms. Griner’s group and household have been comparatively quiet about her state of affairs.
A two-time Olympic gold medalist, Ms. Griner was considered one of a number of American gamers who compete for worldwide groups within the low season interval to complement their W.N.B.A. paychecks. She has performed for the UMMC group in Yekaterinburg, Russia, since 2014.