Suspected of carrying narcotics, American basketball player Brittney Griner has seen her detention extended until June 18.
A Russian court decided on Friday to extend until June 18 the detention of American basketball star Brittney Griner, arrested in February at Moscow airport and suspected of having transported narcotics, reported the official news agency. CASS. The court of Khimki, in the suburbs of Moscow, “has satisfied the request of the investigators and has extended the detention of the American citizen Griner until June 18”, indicated the press service of this court, quoted by the agency.
Griner, a Phoenix Mercury player, two-time Olympic gold medalist and WNBA champion, was arrested in Russia after the discovery in February in her hand luggage of “vapes” and “a liquid containing a peculiar smell” of cannabis oil (hashish oil), according to the Russian Federal Customs Service. His pre-trial detention was initially ordered until May 19.
An exchange to be expected against a famous Russian arms trafficker
After Griner’s arrest, which took place amid international tensions linked to the entry of the Russian army into Ukraine, the American Federation USA Basketball had expressed its “concern” about “security” and the “good -être” of the player, who risks 5 to 10 years in prison.
On Thursday, the Russian news site Gazeta.ru claimed, citing a source within the Russian prison service, that it was “very likely” that Griner could be exchanged for notorious Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, arrested in Thailand. in 2008 and serving a 25-year prison sentence in the United States.
This publication came as former US Marine Trevor Reed, sentenced to nine years in prison in Russia for violence, was exchanged at the end of April for Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko, imprisoned in the United States since 2010. Griner, 31 , 2m06, had actively participated in Phoenix’s 3rd WNBA title, in 2014.
Many WNBA players compete in European leagues during the offseason in the United States, including the Russian and Ukrainian leagues. The American therefore played several seasons in the jersey of the Russian team from Ekaterinburg, with which she won the Women’s Euroleague four times.