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WNBA star Britney Griner, who has been detained in Russia since February on drug charges, will appear in court on Monday for a preliminary hearing before her trial.

The grinder was detained less than a week before Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine after cartridges containing marijuana oil were found in her luggage at an airport near Moscow. The Olympic gold medalist faces up to 10 years in prison.

File - Britney Griner of the Phoenix Mercury Center passes the second part of the WNBA Basketball Game against Seattle Storm in Phoenix on September 3, 2019.

File – Britney Griner of the Phoenix Mercury Center passes the second part of the WNBA Basketball Game against Seattle Storm in Phoenix on September 3, 2019.
(AP Photo / Ross D. Franklin, file)

Less than 1% of the accused in Russian criminal cases were acquitted. Russia’s system is different from the US, in which innocents can be acquitted.

The trial date of the basketball player has not yet been announced, but will be expected soon. Greener was recently ordered to remain in pre-trial custody until July 2. An inquiry will be held to resolve procedural issues.

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Like many other WNBA players, Griner played abroad to earn more money during the league season. She has been playing ball in Russia for the past seven years.

The U.S. State Department re-classified Griner as having been wrongfully detained in May, with officials previously awaiting a trial through the Russian legal system and overseeing her case with a special presidential representative from the Department of Captive Affairs.

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Griner’s supporters have called on the U.S. to hold a prisoner exchange to secure her release.

Russian news media have repeatedly suggested that she could be replaced for Russian arms dealer Victor Bout, known as “The Merchant of Death”. Bout faces up to 25 years in prison for plotting to assassinate U.S. citizens and aiding a terrorist organization.

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File - Phoenix Mercury Center Britney Griner (42) crossed the Chicago Sky Forward Candace Parker (3) in the first leg of Game 1 of the WNBA Basketball Finals on Sunday, October 10, 2021, in Phoenix.

File – Phoenix Mercury Center Britney Griner (42) crossed the Chicago Sky Forward Candace Parker (3) in the first leg of Game 1 of the WNBA Basketball Finals on Sunday, October 10, 2021, in Phoenix.
(AP photo / Ralph Freso, file)

Russia has been pushing for Bout’s release for a number of years, but the distinction between Bout’s global dealings over the Griner case and deadly weapons makes the dream unattractive to the US.

The United States has repeatedly accused the setup of jointly changing Paul Whelan for Greener and Paul Whelan, former Marines and director of security, who are serving a 16 – year sentence on espionage charges.

When asked on Sunday if he was considering a joint swap, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken did not disclose US plans to bring Griner home.

“As a general proposition … I have no greater priority than to see Americans who are being illegally trafficked around the world in one way or another come home,” he said in a TV interview. . “

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Britney Griner of the USA during the women's semifinal basketball game between the United States and Serbia on the fourteenth day of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on August 6, 2021 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.

Britney Griner of the USA during the women’s semifinal basketball game between the United States and Serbia on the fourteenth day of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on August 6, 2021 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
(Jean Cutoff / Getty Images)

Lawyer Maria Yarmush, an expert in international civil affairs, told Russia’s state TV channel RT that Griner should be convicted and sentenced, and then apply for a presidential pardon.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.