By: Teddy Grant – ABC News
A preliminary hearing for WNBA star Brittney Griner will be held in Moscow on Monday morning, her lawyer, Alexander Boikov, confirmed to ABC News.
Griner was detained at Sheremetyevo International Airport in Russia on February 17 after she was accused of carrying vape cartridges containing hashish oil, which is illegal in Russia.
RELATED: Russian court extends detention for WNBA star Brittney Griner
The U.S. State Department said Griner was “wrongfully detained” by Russia, which allows the U.S. to negotiate her release.
Russia had issued multiple extensions of her pre-trial detention, with the latest keeping the 31-year-old in custody through July 2, ABC News reported. If convicted, she faces up to 10 years in prison.
“Our position for some time on this has been very clear. Brittney Griner should not be detained. She should not be detained for a single day longer,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said during a June 14 press briefing.
Griner’s wife, Cherelle Griner, told The Associated Press last week that she has “zero trust” in the U.S. government in its handling of her wife’s detention.
“I find it unacceptable and I have zero trust in our government right now,” she said, referencing a planned phone call between the two that never happened because of staffing issues at the U.S. Embassy in Russia last week.
“If I can’t trust you to catch a Saturday call outside of business hours, how can I trust you to actually be negotiating on my wife’s behalf to come home? Because that’s a much bigger ask than to catch a Saturday call,” Cherelle Griner told The AP.
A State Department spokesperson told ABC News that it regretted the incident and that it was caused by a “logistical error.”
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