Is Brittney Griner a political hostage in Russia? We may find out soon

Apr 18, 2022

Griner has been behind bars since February 17 when she flew into a Moscow airport and Russian customs officials allegedly found vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage. She is under investigation for the large-scale transportation of drugs and faces up to 10 years in a Russian prison if convicted.

In Griner’s first preliminary hearing last month, her Russian attorney unsuccessfully challenged the legality of her arrest and failed in attempts to have her transferred to house arrest. The court instead extended the length of her pretrial confinement by up to two months to give investigators more time to build a case against her.

Griner is scheduled to reappear in court on May 19. At that time, investigators could either again request more time to gather evidence or declare the case file ready and formally bring charges against her. Griner’s Russian defense attorney would then have the opportunity to object to any evidence he feels should be suppressed or request the collection of something missing. Only after that would the trial be scheduled.

A consular officer from the U.S. embassy in Moscow visited Griner on March 23, according to a State Department spokesperson, and verified “that she is doing as well as can be expected.” The spokesperson told Yahoo Sports that the State Department is in “frequent contact” with Griner’s legal team but declined to offer any specifics regarding where she is being held or the living conditions at her prison.

Source: Yahoo Sports (Photo by: AP Photo / Rick Scuteri)