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HomeSportsNBABiden tells Brittney Griner's wife he's working to get WNBA star out...

Biden tells Brittney Griner’s wife he’s working to get WNBA star out of Russia

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President Joe Biden spoke Wednesday with the wife of detained WNBA player Brittney Griner, who is on trial in Russia, and assured her that that he is working to win Griner’s freedom as soon as possible, the White House said.

Biden’s conversation with Griner’s wife, Cherelle Griner, followed Brittney Griner’s personal appeal to the U.S. President in a handwritten letter from the basketball player the White House received on Monday. In the letter, Griner acknowledged her fears she would spend forever in detention in Russia and asked Biden not “forget about me and the other American Detainees.”

Griner has been detained for four months and is currently on trial in Russia, accused of possessing vape cartridges containing cannabis oil.

“The President called Cherelle to reassure her that he is working to secure Brittney’s release as soon as possible, as well as the release of Paul Whelan and other U.S. nationals who are wrongfully detained or held hostage in Russia and around the world,” the White House said in a statement. “He also read her a draft of the letter the President is sending to Brittney Griner today.”

Biden offered his support to the family and committed to making sure they receive “all possible assistance” while the administration pursues steps to win Brittney Griner’s release, the White House said.

WATCH l Griner in midst of trial on charges of possessing cannabis oil:

U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner appears in Russian court

U.S. women’s basketball star Brittney Griner appeared in Russian court Friday to face cannabis possession charges. If convicted, she could face up to 10 years behind bars. Deputy chief of mission of the U.S. Embassy supported Griner in court, saying the Russian Federation has wrongfully detained the WNBA player.

Griner is in the midst of a trial in Russia that began last week after she was arrested on Feb. 17 on charges of possessing cannabis oil while returning to play for her Russian team. The trial is scheduled to resume Thursday.

Fewer than one per cent of defendants in Russian criminal cases are acquitted, and unlike in U.S. courts, acquittals can be overturned.

Cherelle Griner told CBS Mornings in an interview Tuesday it was “disheartening” to her she had yet to hear from Biden during Brittney Griner’s detention.

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