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U.S. basketball star trial begins in Moscow District Court

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The Associated Press

Associated Press

Jim Heintz

Moscow (AP) — US basketball star Britney Greener will be tried in the Moscow District Court on Friday in about four and a half months. .. After she was arrested on suspicion of possessing cannabis at the airport while she was traveling to play for the Russian team.

The Phoenix Mercury Center and two US Olympic gold medalists can face up to 10 years in prison if convicted of a large-scale drug transport. Less than 1% of Russian criminal defendants have been acquitted, and unlike the United States, acquittals can be overturned.

At a private preliminary hearing in Khimki, a suburb of Moscow, on Monday, Grinner's detention was extended for another six months to December 20. Photo taken by

The Associated Press, which includes one of Greener's few close-ups since his arrest on February 17, was a former court where a 31-year-old woman was covered with her head bowed. Unlike the courtroom, the hood was handcuffed and showed that he was looking straight ahead.

According to a video shown in the Russian media, she was guided to the court and she refused to answer the question from the reporter in English. Russian media later reported that Greener's lawyer would not comment on how their clients were going to defend.

Athlete detention and trials take place at a very low time in the relationship between Moscow and Washington. Grinner was arrested at Sheremetyevo International Airport less than a week after Russia sent troops to Ukraine, and tensions between the two countries had already risen. The aggression led to drastic sanctions imposed by the United States, and Russia accused the United States of sending weapons to Ukraine.

In tension, Grinner's supporters said that the State Department had illegally detained her and monitored her case as a special presidential envoy for hostage issues. Virtually the chief negotiator of the US government.

Grinner's wife, Sherel, urged President Joe Biden to secure her release and called her a "political pawn."

"I'm glad I met her in some of these images, but it was hard. Phoenix Mercury coach Vanessa Nigard said on Monday that their teammate friend was another. Every time I remind myself that I have been illegally imprisoned in the country. " The coach

wanted Biden to "take steps to ensure she returned home."

Greener supporters take Marine Corps veteran Trevor Reed home in exchange for a Russian pilot convicted of a drug trafficking plot. Encouraged prisoner exchanges like April.

Russian news media have repeatedly raised speculation that she could be exchanged for the Russian weapons merchant Victor Bowt, who is called the "merchant of death." Provide assistance to terrorist organizations.

Russia has been excited about the release of Bout for years. However, the major contradiction between the Greener case, which included possession of an arc cartridge containing cannabis oil, and the global trade in bouts with deadly weapons made such an exchange unpalatable to the United States. There is likely to be.

Others suggest she is a former Marine and has been sentenced to 16 years in prison for a spy conviction, which the United States has repeatedly described as a setup. He said it could be traded in parallel with security director Paul Whelan.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken declined to ask when asked at CNN on Sunday if a joint exchange for a match between Greener and Welan was being considered.

"As a general suggestion ... I have no higher priority than ensuring that Americans who are somehow illegally detained around the world return home," he says. I did. But he said, "I can't comment in detail about what we're doing, except to say that this is an absolute priority."