KHIMKI — US basketball player Brittney Griner arrived in court on the outskirts of Moscow on Friday and was tried on drug charges that could result in up to 10 years in prison.
A 31-year-old athlete, handcuffed to the Khimki City Court, was seen wearing a Jimi Hendrix T-shirt. She was accompanied by three people and was attended by US Embassy staff.
A woman was handcuffed down the hallway in the building. Cameras were not allowed in court.
In a case consistent with the worsening relations between Moscow and Washington over the conflict in Ukraine, Russian authorities found an arc cartridge containing hashish oil in Greener's luggage at Moscow Airport. During February, which was raised after saying.
US-based Women's Basketball Association (WNBA) star Greener was arrested and charged with smuggling large amounts of drugs. This is a crime that can result in imprisonment of up to 10 years.
When asked about the incident, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied it was a political motive.
"I can only operate with known facts. The facts show that prominent athletes have been detained with illegal drugs, including drugs. Russia's provisions for punishment for such crimes. There is an article on the law, "he told reporters. "Only the court can pass the verdict."
US officials and numerous athletes have been known to basketball fans for Greener ("BG"). I'm looking for a release. They say she has been illegally detained and she should be returned to her family in the United States immediately.
Grinner's detention also raised concerns that Moscow could use two Olympic gold medalists to negotiate the release of prominent Russians under US control.
The Kremlin said he denied that Grinner had violated Russian law and was held hostage in Russia's confrontation with the United States.
Phoenix Mercury's center, Greener, played for Russia's UMMC Yekaterinburg during the WNBA's off-season. Several other US players appear to have signed favorable deals in the Russian Women's Basketball Premier League.
However, some have left the Russian League in Grinner's detention and Russia's military intervention in Ukraine. (Report by Reuters, edited by Mark Trevelian, Frank Jack Daniel, and Gareth Jones)