DuBois Weather

On Air Now

Brittney Griner appears at preliminary hearing amid ‘wrongful’ detention in Russia

(MOSCOW) — WNBA star Brittney Griner appeared at a preliminary hearing in Moscow on Monday more than three months after she was detained in Russia.

Griner did not respond to an ABC News reporter’s question as she walked out of the courtroom. Her attorney did not comment after the hearing. The next hearing is scheduled for July 1.

Griner was detained at Sheremetyevo International Airport in Russia on Feb. 17 after she was accused of carrying vape cartridges containing hashish oil, which is illegal in Russia.

The U.S. State Department has said Griner was “wrongfully detained” by Russia.

“Our position for some time on this has been very clear. Brittney Griner should not be detained. She should not be detained for a single day longer,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said June 14.

Russia had issued multiple extensions of her pre-trial detention. If convicted, Griner, 31, faces up to 10 years in prison.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began one week after Griner was detained. Some officials are concerned that Americans jailed in Russia could be used as leverage in the ongoing conflict.

Cherelle Griner told Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts in May that she would like to speak with President Joe Biden.

“I just keep hearing that, you know, he has the power. She’s a political pawn,” she said. “So if they’re holding her because they want you to do something, then I want you to do it.”

Asked last week about a potential meeting between Cherelle Griner and President Biden, Jean-Pierre said, “We don’t have anything to share about a potential phone conversation or meeting.”

ABC News’ Tanya Stukalova contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.