A Russian courtroom mentioned the trial for the U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner will start on Friday and she is going to stay in custody till it ends, her lawyer, Aleksandr Boikov, mentioned on Monday.
Ms. Griner appeared within the Khimki metropolis courtroom close to Moscow for a preliminary listening to. She didn’t communicate following her courtroom look, in keeping with a video from outdoors the courtroom that was posted by the official state information company TASS.
The W.N.B.A. star, who had performed for a Russian workforce throughout the low season, was detained in a Moscow airport on Feb. 17, ensnaring a U.S. citizen’s destiny within the confrontation between Russia and the West over Ukraine.
Russian officers mentioned that they had discovered vape cartridges bearing traces of hash oil in Ms. Griner’s baggage when she handed by means of a safety checkpoint. The drug costs levied in opposition to her carry a sentence of as much as 10 years in a penal colony.
Mr. Boikov mentioned that he anticipated the trial to take as much as two months, relying on the courtroom’s workload. He additionally mentioned Ms. Griner was nicely and has no complaints about her remedy within the pretrial detention heart.
“It’s sizzling in Moscow, so she feels that too, particularly whereas being transported to the courtroom,” Mr. Boikov mentioned in a cellphone interview.
Ms. Griner, a seven-time W.N.B.A. All-Star heart for the Phoenix Mercury and a key determine in two champion Olympic groups, was detained per week earlier than the invasion of Ukraine, however Russian officers didn’t reveal her arrest till after the warfare begun.
Phrase of her arrest got here when Russia-U.S. relations have been hitting one low level after one other, and her detention raised fears that she might grow to be a bargaining chip, maybe to be exchanged for high-profile Russians in U.S. custody. Lately, U.S. officers have accused Russia of detaining and sentencing Americans on trumped-up costs.
Final week, dozens of organizations representing individuals of colour, girls and L.G.B.T.Q. voters referred to as on President Biden to strike a deal for her launch.
Dmitri S. Peskov, the Kremlin’s spokesman, mentioned in an interview with MSNBC this month that Ms. Griner was not being held hostage and was being held accountable for violating Russian regulation.