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US basketball star Brittney Griner remains in Russian custody

US basketball player Brittney Griner must remain in prison in Russia at least until shortly before Christmas. As the Russian state news agency “Tass” reported, citing a Moscow court, the 31-year-old’s detention was extended until December 20.

On June 27, according to “Tass”, the competent court had set the start of the trial against the athlete for July 1, more than four months after Griner’s arrest on charges of drug possession at Moscow Airport. After that, the court also ordered that Griner must remain in custody for the duration of the proceedings.

Griner appeared for the first time for a preliminary hearing before the court in the Moscow suburb of Khimki. The hearing took place behind closed doors. The American faces up to ten years in prison. The case comes at a time when US-Russia relations are at an all-time low over Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine.

On February 17, Griner was arrested on charges of drug possession at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport. The two-time Olympic champion and star player of the WNBA team Phoenix Mercury had recently also been active in Russia.

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