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Russia Starts US Basketball Star Griner’s Trial in Moscow

  • US says it’s ‘actively’ trying to get Griner freed from jail
  • Russia’s Tass has reported about possible prisoner swap
Brittney Griner, center, arrives to a hearing at the Khimki Court outside Moscow, on July 1.

Brittney Griner, center, arrives to a hearing at the Khimki Court outside Moscow, on July 1.

Photographer: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images

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A court in Moscow began the trial of US women’s basketball player Brittney Griner on drug smuggling charges Friday, the latest in a series of cases involving Americans held by Russian authorities amid deteriorating relations.

Griner, 31, a two-time Olympic Gold medalist, faces a maximum of 10 years in prison if convicted. She was detained in Moscow in February after police accused her of illegally trying to import hash oil into the country in vape cartridges.