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Brittney Griner trial: US basketball star appears in Moscow court as wife asks for Biden meeting

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US basketball player Brittney Griner, who was detained in March at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport and later charged with illegal possession of cannabis, is escorted before a court hearing in Moscow Photo: Reuters/Evgenia Novozhenina

US basketball player Brittney Griner, who was detained in March at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport and later charged with illegal possession of cannabis, is escorted before a court hearing in Moscow Photo: Reuters/Evgenia Novozhenina

US basketball player Brittney Griner, who was detained in March at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport and later charged with illegal possession of cannabis, is escorted before a court hearing in Moscow Photo: Reuters/Evgenia Novozhenina

More than four months after her arrest in Moscow, US women’s basketball star Brittney Griner appeared in a Russian court on Friday for what was expected to be the beginning of her trial on drug charges.

The 31-year-old athlete was seen arriving at Khimki City Court outside of Moscow in handcuffs shortly after noon local time, with US embassy staff in attendance.

She then heard her charges, including intentionally transporting narcotics. Facing up to 10 years in prison in Russia, Griner accepted the charges and did not enter a plea, reports said.

A centre for the Phoenix Mercury, Griner had played for UMMC Ekaterinburg in Russia during the WNBA off-season, and was arrested on her way home when Russian airport officials say they found vape cartridges with traces of hashish oil – an offence in the country.

Lawyers for Griner – whose wife has pleaded for US President Joe Biden to meet with her and secure the WNBA’s star release – believe the trial will last two months, reports say.

More to follow...

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