Britney Greiner, the American basketball star who has been held in a Russian prison since last February Drug smuggling charges arrestedbefore a court in Moscow to start her trial on Friday.
Greiner was arrested at Moscow airport on February 17 after being accused of carrying cannabis oil in her luggage.
“Being sufficiently aware that the movement of drugs is not permitted … no later than February 17, 2022 in an unspecified location under unspecified circumstances from an unidentified person [Griner] He bought two of the cartridges for personal use, which contain 0.252 grams and 0.45 grams of cannabis oil, for a total of 0.702 grams, the plaintiff said in court Friday. According to CNN.
CNN reported That “the allegation says that Greiner intended to import drugs into Russian territory and put prohibited substances in a backpack and briefcase,” and that cannabis oil “is controlled in Russia and classified as a narcotic.”
The trial is scheduled to resume next Friday. Griner faces up to 10 years in prison.
Greiner, one of the most decorated women’s basketball players in history who stars in the NBA’s Phoenix Mercury team, has become a symbol of the deteriorating relationship between the United States and Russia. Her arrest, which coincided with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, is widely seen as politically motivated.
in May, US Reclassified Griner as “unjustly detained”.
There is increasing speculation that Russia may seek a prisoner exchange with the United States, with New York times Reports The Kremlin appears to be linking Greiner’s fate with that of Viktor Bout, a Russian arms dealer who is currently serving a 25-year federal prison sentence in the United States.
That could put President Joe Biden in a diplomatic quandary, according to times.
“The vast contrast between the cases of Britney Greiner and Victor Bout highlights the extreme difficulty President Biden would face if he sought a prisoner exchange to free Ms. Greiner, a detained WNBA player, from Moscow detention. The Biden administration, reluctant to create an incentive to arrest or kidnap Americans abroad You will be hard pressed to justify the release of a malicious figure like Mr. Bot.” times mentioned.
But the Biden administration is under mounting pressure to secure Greiner’s freedom. peers in the athletic community They expressed their support for her, while urging the United States to do something to end her detention.
Brand LeBron James, Uninterrupted, issue a message Last month he called on Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to continue working for her release.
“For more than 100 days, BG faced inhumane conditions in a Russian prison and was denied contact with her family and loved ones,” the letter read. “As an Olympian or a member of the elite of the global sporting community, BG’s detention must be resolved out of respect for the sanctity of all sports and for all Americans who travel internationally. It is imperative that the United States government immediately address this human rights issue and do whatever is necessary to bring Britney home “.
Griner was arrested while returning to Russia to complete her season with UMMC Ekaterinburg. Like many American basketball players, Griner has long competed in Russia during WNBA seasons.
Although she was arrested in February, her arrest was not announced until several weeks later.
Griner’s agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, said after Russian authorities announced her arrest in March. “As this is an ongoing legal matter, we cannot comment further on the specifics of her case but can confirm that while we work to get her home back, her mental and physical health remains our primary concern.”