Trial for WNBA star Brittney Griner opens in Russian court

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Brittney griner trial opens
WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner is escorted to a courtroom for a hearing, in Khimki just outside Moscow, Russia, Friday, July 1, 2022. U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner is set to go on trial in a Moscow-area court Friday. The proceedings that are scheduled to begin Friday come about 4 1/2 months after she was arrested on cannabis possession charges at an airport while traveling to play for a Russian team. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

MOSCOW (AP) — WNBA star Brittney Griner has gone on trial in a Russian court on charges of possessing cannabis oil.

Griner was arrested in February at a Moscow airport while traveling to play for a Russian team. The Phoenix Mercury center and two-time U.S. Olympic gold medalist could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted. The next session was set for July 7.

Griner’s arrest aggravated tensions

A U.S. Embassy official who was in court said she spoke with Griner, who “is doing as well as can be expected in these difficult circumstances.” Her case comes at an extraordinarily low point in Moscow-Washington relations. Griner was arrested less than a week before Russia sent troops into Ukraine, which aggravated already high tensions.

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