First photos of WNBA’s Brittney Griner appearing in a Russian court

Brittney Griner, wide-eyed, surrounded by uniformed people.
WNBA basketball star Brittney Griner arrives at a court hearing outside Moscow on Monday.
(Kirill Kudryavtsev / AFP )
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Shackled and looking wary, WNBA star Brittney Griner was ordered to stand trial Friday by a court near Moscow on cannabis possession charges, about 4½ months after her arrest at an airport while returning to play for a Russian team.

The Phoenix Mercury center and two-time U.S. Olympic gold medalist also was ordered to remain in custody for the duration of her criminal trial. Griner could face 10 years in prison if convicted on charges of large-scale transportation of drugs. Fewer than 1% of defendants in Russian criminal cases are acquitted, and unlike in the U.S., acquittals can be overturned.

At Monday’s closed-door preliminary hearing at the court in the Moscow suburb of Khimki, Griner’s detention was extended for another six months. Photos obtained by the Associated Press showed the 31-year-old in handcuffs and looking straight ahead, unlike a previous court appearance where she kept her head down and covered with a hood.

Her detention and trial come at an extraordinarily low point in Moscow-Washington relations. She was arrested at Sheremetyevo International Airport less than a week before Russia sent troops into Ukraine, which aggravated already-high tensions with sweeping sanctions by the United States and Russia’s denunciation of U.S. weapon supplies to Ukraine.

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Brittney Griner is escorted by a woman and a man in uniform.
WNBA basketball star Brittney Griner in shackles at a court appearance.
(Kirill Kudryavtsev / AFP )
Brittney Griner in profile inside a building.
WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner on Monday.
(Alexander Zemlianichenko / Associated Press)
Brittney Griner in a stairwell, escorted by uniformed people.
Brittney Griner is escorted to a courtroom for a hearing
(Alexander Zemlianichenko / Associated Press)
Griner, wide-eyed, in a stairwell, escorted by people in uniform.
Griner arrives at a court hearing outside Moscow on Monday.
(Kirill Kudryavtsev / AFP )
Close-up of Griner.
Griner on her way to a court proceeding.
(Alexander Zemlianichenko / Associated Press)
Griner leaves a courtroom after a hearing, in Khimki just outside Moscow, Russia, Monday, June 27, 2022.
Griner is led away after the hearing.
(Alexander Zemlianichenko / Associated Press)
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