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Terrified-looking WNBA star Brittney Griner is led into Russian courtroom in cuffs where her detention is extended by six months ahead of cannabis trial starting Friday

US basketball star Brittney Griner arrives to hearing in Khimki court outside Moscow on Monday

WNBA star Brittney Griner's detention in a Russian jail has been extended for another six months ahead of her cannabis possession trial that is now set to begin Friday. 

At a hearing on Monday, the dread-locked, 6-foot-9 center towered over prison guards as she was escorted into the courtroom in Khimki on the outskirts of Moscow, where she learned that her trial will begin on Friday. She's accused of bringing vape cartridges of cannabis oil through Moscow airport security in February. Photos obtained by The Associated Press showed the 31-year-old in handcuffs and looking straight ahead, unlike a previous court appearance where she kept her head down and covered with a hood.

Griner, a Phoenix Mercury star considered by many to be among the top female athletes in the world, could face 10 years in prison if convicted on charges of large-scale transportation of drugs. Fewer than 1 percent of defendants in Russian criminal cases are acquitted, and unlike in the U.S., acquittals can be overturned.

  

Griner's detention and trial come at an extraordinarily low point in Moscow-Washington relations. She was arrested at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport less than a week before Russia sent troops into Ukraine, which aggravated already-high tensions with sweeping sanctions by the United States and Russia's denunciation of U.S. weapon supplies to Ukraine.

Amid the tensions, Griner's supporters had taken a low profile in hopes of a quiet resolution, until May, when the State Department reclassified her as wrongfully detained and shifted oversight of her case to its special presidential envoy for hostage affairs - effectively the U.S. government's chief negotiator.

That move has drawn additional attention to Griner's case, with supporters encouraging a prisoner swap like the one in April that brought home Marine veteran Trevor Reed in exchange for a Russian pilot convicted of drug trafficking conspiracy.

US basketball star Brittney Griner arrives to hearing in Khimki court outside Moscow on Monday

US basketball star Brittney Griner arrives to hearing in Khimki court outside Moscow on Monday

Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and WNBA champion, was detained at Moscow airport in February on charges of carrying in her luggage vape cartridges with cannabis oil, which could carry a 10-year prison sentence

Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and WNBA champion, was detained at Moscow airport in February on charges of carrying in her luggage vape cartridges with cannabis oil, which could carry a 10-year prison sentence

WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner is escorted to a courtroom for a hearing

WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner is escorted to a courtroom for a hearing

Griner has been imprisoned since February, when she was arrested on drug charges as she tried to re-enter Russia

Griner has been imprisoned since February, when she was arrested on drug charges as she tried to re-enter Russia 

The 6-foot-9 Griner is pictured being escorted out of a Russian courtroom in the Moscow suburb of Khimki on Monday

The 6-foot-9 Griner is pictured being escorted out of a Russian courtroom in the Moscow suburb of Khimki on Monday  

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Comment by ADELTECH REAL ESTATE on June 28, 2022 at 1:08pm

This world is free for anyone to travel, but BLACK people don't standup for blacks just talk bullshit when something happen. That's why we get noway in life as black people.

Comment by vaughn mitchell on June 28, 2022 at 11:54am
@ John, pervert. @ Stephen Myers, she went there to earn a living. Elijah Muhammad, the same Elijah Muhammad, would was messing with Muslim women in his congregation, the same Elijah Muhammad, who exile Malcolm X. God, gave you a brain use it. The fact is Russia, is using her as bait to get one of theirs back.
Comment by ITAL DIAGNE on June 28, 2022 at 7:05am

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Comment by John on June 27, 2022 at 10:59pm

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Comment by stephen myers on June 27, 2022 at 6:43pm

What Black person in their right mind would want to go to that racist all white communist nation but a fool, as Elijah Muhammed said sport and play is what these fools are about, not conscious about the history communism, I feel no way for these fools who never learn and think that whites in general hate them, look at that look on her face tell the story of shock as they send her to the gulags, and they hate Gays in Russia, fools never learn.

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