Top Ad
I DIG Radio
www.idigradio.com
Listen live to the best music from around the world!
I DIG Style
www.idigstyle.com
Learn about the latest fashion styles and more...

Russian court sets Friday as start of Griner trial

Written by 
Published in Breaking News
Monday, 27 June 2022 10:28

MOSCOW -- More than four months after she was arrested at a Moscow airport for alleged cannabis possession, a Russian court has set the start date for the trial of U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner for Friday.

The Phoenix Mercury star was also ordered to remain in custody for the duration of her criminal trial. She could face 10 years in prison if convicted on charges of large-scale transportation of drugs. Fewer than 1% of defendants in Russian criminal cases are acquitted, and unlike in the U.S., acquittals can be overturned.

On Monday, the court in the Moscow suburb of Khimki extended Griner's detention for another six months after she appeared for a preliminary hearing held behind closed doors. Photos obtained by the AP showed her appearing in handcuffs. Griner had previously been ordered to remain in pretrial detention until Saturday.

Several officials and experts familiar with Griner's case told ESPN's T.J. Quinn that a trial -- and a conviction -- were always likely developments, as they were for Americans Trevor Reed and Paul Whelan. Regardless of whether Russian prosecutors present compelling, specious or flat-out fabricated evidence against Griner, the sources said it doesn't change the basic dynamic: Russia has indicated that it is willing to negotiate her release, and the legal proceedings are simply a pretense to put a sheen of legitimacy on the saga.

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 Reed in exchange for a Russian pilot convicted of drug trafficking conspiracy.

Russian news media have repeatedly raised speculation that she could be swapped for Russian arms trader Viktor Bout, nicknamed "The Merchant of Death," who is serving a 25-year sentence on conviction of conspiracy to kill U.S. citizens and providing aid to a terrorist organization.

Russia has sought Bout's release for years. But the discrepancy between Griner's case -- she allegedly was found in possession of vape cartridges containing cannabis oil -- and Bout's global dealings in deadly weapons could make such a swap unpalatable to the United States.

Others have suggested that she could be traded in tandem with Whelan, a former Marine and security director serving a 16-year sentence on an espionage conviction that the United States has repeatedly described as a setup.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, asked Sunday on CNN whether a joint swap of Griner and Whelan for Bout was being considered, sidestepped the question.

"As a general proposition ... I have got no higher priority than making sure that Americans who are being illegally detained in one way or another around the world come home," he said. But he added, "I can't comment in any detail on what we're doing, except to say this is an absolute priority."

Any swap would apparently require Griner to first be convicted and sentenced, then apply for a presidential pardon, Maria Yarmush, a lawyer specializing in international civil affairs, told Kremlin-funded TV channel RT.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Read 26 times

Soccer

Carlo said I'd net 'crazy' Madrid winner - Alaba

Carlo said I'd net 'crazy' Madrid winner - Alaba

David Alaba said Carlo Ancelotti told him he'd score a free kick winner for Real Madrid, moments bef...

Real rally past promoted Almeria to start LaLiga

Real rally past promoted Almeria to start LaLiga

Champions Real Madrid overcame a slow start in their first match of the LaLiga season with a 2-1 com...

Real Madrid get goals from unlikely duo Alaba, Vazquez to start LaLiga campaign with comeback win

Real Madrid get goals from unlikely duo Alaba, Vazquez to start LaLiga campaign with comeback win

Real Madrid began their LaLiga title defence by overcoming a flat start in their season opener with...

Basketball

USA Basketball sets roster for WC qualifying

USA Basketball sets roster for WC qualifying

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- USA Basketball has picked its 12-man roster for the opening second-round...

NBA to retire Russell's No. 6 for all 30 teams

NBA to retire Russell's No. 6 for all 30 teams

The NBA will honor the legacy of Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell by retiring his No. 6 jersey for...

Baseball

'Grandpa' Pujols homers twice in Cardinals' win

'Grandpa' Pujols homers twice in Cardinals' win

ST. LOUIS -- Albert Pujols homered twice and Miles Mikolas tossed eight effective innings, helping t...

Sources: Nats calling up top prospect Abrams

Sources: Nats calling up top prospect Abrams

The Washington Nationals are calling up top prospect C.J. Abrams, one of the main returns in the Jua...

Sports Leagues

  • FIFA

    Fédération Internationale de Football Association
  • NBA

    National Basketball Association
  • ATP

    Association of Tennis Professionals
  • MLB

    Major League Baseball
  • ITTF

    International Table Tennis Federation
  • NFL

    Nactional Football Leagues
  • FISB

    Federation Internationale de Speedball

About Us

I Dig® is a leading global brand that makes it more enjoyable to surf the internet, conduct transactions and access, share, and create information.  Today I Dig® attracts millions of users every month.

 

Phone: (800) 737. 6040
Fax: (800) 825 5558
Website: www.idig.com
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Affiliated