MOSCOW REGION, RUSSIA - JUNE 27, 2022: US Olympic champion basketball player Brittney Griner (R) charged with drug smuggling arrives for a preliminary hearing at the Khimki City Court. Video screen grab. Best quality available. Maxim Grigoryev/TASS/Sipa USA
MOSCOW (AP) — WNBA star Brittney Griner appeared in a court near Moscow that ordered her trial on cannabis possession charges to begin Friday, about 4 1/2 months after she was arrested at an airport while returning to play for a Russian team. The two-time Olympic gold medalist also was ordered to remain in custody for the duration of her criminal trial — up to six months. The 31-year-old center for the Phoenix Mercury 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.
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