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Brittney Griner expected to appear for closing arguments in Russian trial

(KYMA, KECY/ CNN) - Closing arguments are expected Thursday in WNBA star Brittney Griner's ongoing drug-smuggling trial in Russia.

It comes amid concerns that she is being used as a political pawn in the country's war on Ukraine.

Griner is accused of trying to smuggle less than one gram of cannabis oil in her luggage back in February.

Griner --who plays for the Phoenix Mercury in season and a Russian team in the offseason-- was arrested at a Moscow airport and faces up to 10 years in prison.

Griner pleaded guilty to drug charges last month.

Her lawyers say it was an attempt to take responsibility and receive leniency if she is ultimately convicted and sentenced.

The U.S. State Department maintains Griner is wrongfully detained.

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