One legal expert said that Trevor Reed’s release from Russian prison was “very bad for Brittney Griner.”

Brittney Griner.

Team USA and Brittney Griner at the Tokyo Olympics.AP Photo / Eric Gay

  • Former US Marine Corps Trevor Reed was released from Russian detention in a prisoner exchange on Wednesday.

  • The sports community has questioned the impact of Reed’s release on the detained WNBA superstar Brittney Griner.

  • A legal expert told insiders that it was “very bad” given the high value of Greener for Russia.

American citizen Trevor Reed has been released from Russian control Wednesday after the US government exchanged prisoners to secure the freedom of the former US Marine Corps.

And the news of his liberation after being detained in Russia for nearly three years is clearly “good for Trevor Reed and his family,” but one legal expert said it was probably. Brittney Griner..

The WNBA superstar was detained at Moscow Airport in February. Customs officials accused her of having hemp oil In her luggage.

“It shouldn’t be considered a good thing,” Esquire Digital’s chief legal analyst Aron Solomon told insiders. “I think it’s very bad for Brittney Griner.”

Brittney Griner.

Greener with her WNBA team Phoenix Mercury.AP Photo / Rick Scuteri

Dealing with detainees is a difficult act to balance. Negotiations with Russia are even more difficult.

Solomon, both Greener and Reed, with their original companions U.S. Marine Corps Paul Whelan, Was three prominent “political detainees” in detention in Russia. And when it comes to the trio’s “pecking order,” Greener finds himself “in the middle of the pack.”

The Kremlin considers Welan, who is also a citizen of Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland, to be the most valuable. At the age of 52, he worked as a security consultant with dozens of international contacts. Solomon said when he was there, “he certainly had a lot of sensitive information.” Arrested on suspicion of espionage In Moscow over 3 years ago.

Trevor Reed

Former U.S. Marine Corps Trevor Reed, accused of attacking Russian police, stands in the defendant’s cage during a verdict hearing in the Golovinskiy District Court in Moscow on July 30, 2020. ..DIMITARDIL KOFF / AFP via Getty Images

Grinner wasn’t familiar with such important and sensitive information, but she is a well-known figure in both Russia and the United States. Her height of her definitely makes her a bigger bargaining tip than lesser-known citizens like Reed.

“She is literally the most famous man or woman [American] “Being a Russian athlete, she’s the perfect person to grab,” said Solomon, who teaches at both McGill University and the University of Pennsylvania. It was very attractive for Russia to catch her, such as her appearance. “

“You can insert the reason for your choice, right?” He continued on Russia’s motive to detain Grinner. “Her sexual orientation, her tattoos, the fact that she is black.”

Brittney Griner.

Greener.Reuters / Brian Snyder

For all these reasons, neither Whelan’s case nor Griner’s case can be directly compared to Reed’s case. However, Texas native releases will undoubtedly affect both their return prospects.

The Russian Foreign Ministry is alleged to have suggested that Konstantin Yaroshenko, a Russian detainee who was exchanged for Reed, could be returned “in exchange for Americans.” A senior Biden administration told CNN.. Theoretically, this would include both Whelan and Griner.

However, President Joe Biden made a “severe call” to exchange Yaroschenko for Reed. “That health was a source of serious concern,” officials told CNN in the background. Reed’s family told CNN that he believed he was suffering from tuberculosis after being infected with COVID-19 while in prison.

Solomon told insiders that he suspected that “Russia couldn’t find anything big enough to trade for Welan or Greener.”

Brittney Griner.

Greener.AP Photo / Rick Scuteri

“The fact that the lead was released doesn’t mean that. [Griner is] “It will inevitably be released,” Solomon said.

What that “something” accompanies is hard to guess for anyone, even a legal expert like Solomon. It also depends on many factors, such as how much the public and the media continue to pay attention to Greener’s claims.

WNBA “is trying to reduce remarks and push more privately”

The seven WNBA All-Star representatives and the US government likewise suggest that the less we discuss the situation together, the better for Greener. WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert repeated similar feelings to insiders In an exclusive interview about the league’s “reduce remarks and push more privately” strategy.

Cathy Engelbert of the WNBA Commissioner.

Cathy Engelbert of the WNBA Commissioner.AP Photo / Patrick Semanski

Solomon agrees, “Today, the farther away Brittney Griner is from the public eye, the less valuable she will take on as a tip for political transactions,” but it also urges Griner’s case to be dealt with. I think it may reduce. And, “if our ultimate goal here is that nothing terrifying happens to Brittney Griner in custody,” it is of utmost importance to pay attention to the problem.

But it diminishes the US government’s ability to “lower her value.”

“I personally think Russia is trying to ease some sort of relatively minor sanctions, not trade with others,” Solomon said. “Maybe something, if you relax a little with this, Brittney Griner will go home.”

“I don’t think it’s foreseeable for now that they’re detaining someone suitable for trade,” he added.

Brittney Griner (center) of the Phoenix Mercury Center will warm up before the team's WNBA Basketball Playoff Series against Las Vegas Aces on Friday, October 8, 2021 in Las Vegas.

Greener warms up before Game 5 of the WNBA Basketball Playoffs series against the 2021 Las Vegas Aces.Chase Stevens / AP

A WNBA spokesperson told insiders on Wednesday:

Greener’s agents did not immediately respond to insider comment requests.

Greener’s next court day is set for May 19th

Her charges have been sentenced to up to 10 years in prison, but investigations are still underway in Russia. If law enforcement completes the investigation by May 19 (the day of Greener’s next court visit), they will set a trial date shortly thereafter.

“The moment the first hearing was postponed until May 19, I always said, it won’t happen on May 19,” Solomon said. “If so, I am very surprised.”

Brittney Griner.

Greener.AP Photo / Eric Gay

If Solomon’s rights and Russian courts postpone the date further, Grinner may retain Russian custody in essentially indefinitely.

“I saw something in Russian law that was two years, but again, Paul [Whelan] I have been detained for 4 years. The question is who is responsible for supporting Russian law? “

“Russia has no rule of law,” he added. “The rule of law means that you can’t catch someone from the airport and continue until you think you’re ready to do so.”

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