The WNBA star appeared in court a month ago and was set to make her next showing on May 19, but Friday, the Khimki court judge denied a request for Griner –who was hiding her face in a red hoodie and confined in handcuffs– to be placed in home detention.
Now her pretrial detention has been extended for one month. However, her lawyer Alexander Boykov claims this is good news because the short extension of her imprisonment signals that her trial will begin relatively soon.
“We did not receive any complaints about the detention conditions from our client,” Boykov told The Associated Press.
Back in March, the U.S. State Department insisted that the Russian government provide consular access to detained U.S. citizens, including Griner. The department’s spokesperson Ned Price confirmed that U.S. State Department officials met with the WNBA player and said she was in “good condition.”
“Within the past couple hours, an official from our embassy has been granted consular access to Brittney Griner,” Price told CNN. “We were able to check on her condition. We will continue to work very closely with her legal team, with her broader network, to see to it that she’s treated fairly. That is a message that we will continue to convey in no uncertain terms to the Russian federation.”
The 31-year-old baller was detained nearly three months ago in mid-February after Russian authorities claimed they discovered vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage at Russia’s Sheremetyevo International Airport. She was on her way to play for Russian club UMMC Ekaterinburg, something common for WNBA players during the offseason.
The two-time Olympic gold medalist and Phoenix Mercury star faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison if found guilty.