Home US SportsWNBA Detention of WNBA’s Griner extended to May 19

Detention of WNBA’s Griner extended to May 19

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Russian media reported that the detention of WNBA star Brittney Griner was prolonged till Could 19, a improvement that might see the two-time Olympic champion being held for not less than three months earlier than her case is resolved.

The case of the 31-year-old Griner, one of the crucial recognizable gamers in girls’s basketball, comes amid heightened tensions between Washington and Moscow over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Griner was detained after arriving at a Moscow airport, reportedly in mid-February, after Russian authorities stated a search of her baggage revealed vape cartridges allegedly containing oil derived from hashish, which might carry a most penalty of 10 years in jail.

“The court granted the request of the investigation and extended the period of detention of the U.S. citizen Griner until May 19,” the court docket stated, based on the state information company Tass.

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow didn’t instantly return calls from The Related Press looking for remark.

An individual conversant in the state of affairs instructed the AP that Griner’s authorized group has seen her a number of occasions per week and he or she is doing “OK.” The particular person spoke on situation of anonymity due to the continuing authorized proceedings.

The U.S. State Division has been “doing everything we can to support Brittney Griner to support her family, and to work with them to do everything we can, to see that she is treated appropriately and to seek her release,” spokesman Ned Value stated Tuesday at a briefing. He cited privateness issues in not giving out extra particulars.

Ekaterina Kalugina of the regional Public Monitoring Fee, a state-backed panel in Russia that screens prisoners’ circumstances, instructed Tass that Griner was sharing a cell with two different feminine detainees accused of narcotics offenses.

Griner’s cellmates spoke English and had been serving to her to speak with employees on the pretrial detention facility and to acquire books, Kalugina stated.

“The only objective problem has turned out to be the basketball player’s height,” Tass quoted Kalugina as saying of the 6-foot-9 (206-cm) Griner. “The beds in the cell are clearly intended for a person of lesser height.”

Griner has gained two Olympic gold medals with the U.S., a WNBA championship with the Phoenix Mercury and a nationwide championship at Baylor. She is a seven-time All-Star. The WNBA season opens Could 6.

She was one in every of a dozen WNBA gamers who performed in Russia or Ukraine this previous season. All besides Griner have left since Russia invaded Ukraine.

Griner has performed in Russia for the final seven years within the winter, incomes over $1 million per season — greater than quadruple her WNBA wage. She final performed for her Russian group UMMC Ekaterinburg on Jan. 29 earlier than the league took a two-week break in early February for the FIBA World Cup qualifying tournaments.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joined a rising contingent of household, mates and officers calling for her launch with a “Free Brittney” tweet Wednesday:

Griner’s group has been making an attempt to work quietly for her launch and declining to speak publicly since her arrest was made public earlier this month.

Griner’s spouse, Cherelle, thanked everybody for his or her assist but in addition has stated little else on social media.

“Everyone’s getting the strategy of say less and push more privately behind the scenes,” WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert instructed the AP on Wednesday. ”It’s the technique you get from the State Division and administration. It’s our No. 1 precedence in speaking along with her agent and strategists.”

The State Division has cited privateness issues for not releasing extra details about Griner’s state of affairs regardless of the extreme public curiosity within the case. Certainly, federal legislation prohibits U.S. officers from offering private details about any American citizen arrested or in any other case detained abroad with out their specific written consent.

There are very restricted exceptions to the foundations within the 1974 Privateness Act that additionally forbids the general public launch of passport information of U.S. residents. One exception is when the topic of an inquiry has signed a doc generally known as a Privateness Act Waiver that enables the State Division in Washington and diplomats at U.S. embassies and consulates overseas to debate particular data.

Griner is just not the one American at present detained in Russia. Marine veteran Trevor Reed was sentenced to 9 years in jail in 2020 on expenses he assaulted law enforcement officials in Moscow, and Michigan company safety govt Paul Whelan is serving a 16-year sentence on espionage expenses that his household and the U.S. authorities have stated are false. U.S. officers have publicly known as for Moscow to launch them.

Russian media: Detention of WNBA’s Griner extended to May 19 initially appeared on NBCSports.com

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