KHIMKI — US basketball star Brittney Griner was tried in a court on the outskirts of Moscow on Friday and faced drug charges that could see her face in prison for up to 10 years.
The incident, consistent with the worsening relations between Moscow and Washington over the conflict in Ukraine, said Russian authorities found an arc cartridge containing hash oil in Greener's luggage at Moscow Airport in February. Was raised afterwards.
US-based Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) star Griner was arrested and charged with smuggling large amounts of drugs. This is a crime that could put her in prison for up to 10 years.
A 31-year-old athlete arrives at Kimki City Court in a Jimi Hendrix T-shirt and hand-locked shortly after noon Moscow time (0900 GMT). It was seen.
The prosecutor told Greener that she was accused of deliberately transporting the drug. Greener said she understood her allegations.
Three US embassy employees attended the courtroom, and Greener was sitting in a cage containing a cookie zip lock bag and a bottle of mineral water.
When asked about the incident, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied it was a political motive.
"I can only manipulate with known facts. The facts show that prominent athletes were detained by illegal drugs, including narcotic substances. Russian law says so. There is an article that stipulates punishment for various crimes, "he told reporters. "Only the court can pass the ruling."
U.S. officials and numerous athletes of Greener ("BG") known to basketball fans 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 a prominent Russian under US control.
Kremlin said Grinner denied that she had been held hostage in a conflict with Russia's United States for violating Russian law.
Phoenix Mercury's center, Greener, played for UMMC Ekaterimburg in Russia during the WNBA off-season.
However, due to her Grinner detention and Russia's military intervention in Ukraine, some are now leaving the Russian League.
Grinner's wife, Sherel Grinner, told CNN in an interview Thursday night that she wants to meet with US President Joe Byden.
"Tell me what he cares about," said Sherel Greener.
The US government has warned citizens of her trip to Russia in the light of "potential harassment of US citizens by Russian government security officials."
US Secretary of State Antony Brinken said last week that "it is not a high priority" to "illegally detain" Greener and other Americans abroad. (Report by Reuters, edited by Mark Trebellian and Gareth Jones)