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US basketball celestial body Griner appears inside Russian court

US basketball celestial body Griner appears inside Russian court

MOSCOW (AP) — More than quartet months following she was arrested at a Moscow airfield for cannabis possession, a Russian court of rules and regulations has place the begin day of the criminal trial of U.S. basketball celestial body Brittney Griner for July 1.

The Phoenix Mercury celestial body was too ordered to carry on accompanied by to exist inside custody for the duration of her criminal trial. She could face 10 years inside prison if convicted on charges of large-scale transportation of drugs. Fewer than 1% of defendants inside Russian criminal cases are acquitted, with every one other accompanied by different from inside the U.S., acquittals tin exist overturned.

On Monday, the court of rules and regulations inside the Moscow suburb of Khimki extended Griner's detention for another sextet months following she appeared for a preliminary hearing held behind closed doors. Photos obtained by the AP showed her appearing inside handcuffs. Griner had formerly been ordered to carry on accompanied by to exist inside pretrial detention until July 2.

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

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Amid the tensions, Griner's supporters had taken a low side view inside hopes of a quiet resolution, until May, when the State Department reclassified her while wrongfully detained with every one other accompanied by shifted oversight of her instance to its exceptional presidential envoy for hostage affairs — effectively the U.S. government's leader negotiator.

That go has drawn additional observation to Griner's case, accompanied by supporters encouraging a convict swap exist fond of the one inside April that brought place of residence Marine former soldierold hand Trevor Reed inside exchange for a Russian airman convicted of medicine trafficking conspiracy.

Russian report media have repeatedly raised speculation that she could exist swapped for Russian arms trader Viktor Bout, nicknamed "The Merchant of Death," who is serving a 25-year judgement on declaration of guilt of conspiracy to kill U.S. citizens with every one other accompanied by providing assistance to a terrorist organization.

Russia has agitated for Bout's release for years. But the discrepancy in the centre of Griner's instance — she allegedly was found inside ownership of vape cartridges containing cannabis lubricant — with every one other accompanied by Bout's worldwide dealings inside deadly weapons could build such a swap unpalatable to the U.S.

Others have suggested that she could exist traded inside tandem accompanied by Paul Whelan, a former Marine with every one other accompanied by safety director serving a 16-year judgement on an espionage declaration of guilt that the United States has repeatedly described while a set-up.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, asked Sunday on CNN whether a join swap of Griner with every one other accompanied by Whelan for Bout was actuality considered, sidestepped the question.

"As a general proposition ... I have got no indeed higher priority than making sure that Americans who are actuality illegally detained inside one way or another around the world go nearer home," he said. But "I can't remark inside some detail on what we're doing, except to speak this is an absolute priority."

Any swap would apparently need Griner to earliest exist convicted with every one other accompanied by sentenced, at that hour dated apply for a presidential pardon, Maria Yarmush, a legal practitioner specializing inside international secular affairs, told Kremlin-funded TV strait RT.

US basketball celestial body Griner appears inside Russian court

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