Brittney Griner, the out American Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) All-Star, who was detained in Russia following the discovery of vape cartridges in mid-February, will remain locked up for at least another two months.
According to Russian State Newsagency, Tass, a Moscow court ruled that Griner’s incarceration will extend till at least May 19.
Griner has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
WNBA center Brittney Griner appeared in a Moscow court today, where she reportedly pleaded not guilty (to drug charges). The court extended her detention for another two months, according to @mash_breaking pic.twitter.com/Lm0TPzNYH0
— Mike Eckel (@Mike_Eckel) March 17, 2022
Under Russian law, if convicted, Griner can spend up to 10 years in prison.
Former US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton weighed in Thursday and tweeted, “Free Brittney.”
Free Brittney. https://t.co/wqQrye2T3J
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) March 16, 2022
The Russian Federal Customs Service released a video on March 5, claiming that they had detained Griner after finding vape cartridges that contained hashish oil in her checked baggage.
According to the Russian Customs Service, drug-sniffing dogs alerted them to the presence of a banned substance and a subsequent search uncovered the vape cartridges.
Griner’s arrest comes amid heightened tensions between the USA and Russia due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.